The BC government won’t proceed with proposed amendments to the BC Land Act that would have seen provincial Crown lands jointly managed by the province and BC’s 204 First Nations.

Nathan Cullen, minister of water, land and resource stewardship has shelved the amendments after consulting with more than 650 representatives of stakeholder groups representing tens of thousands of British Columbians from:

  • mining,
  • forestry,
  • oil and gas,
  • cattle ranching,
  • tourism,
  • hunting and angling, and
  • more.

“From the very beginning of this process, I promised that we would listen and take the time to get any changes right,” Minister Cullen said.

If the proposed amendments had passed, Indigenous groups would have had a joint say with the minister over the access and use of lands within their territories.

Approximately 94 per cent of BC land is Crown land. Much of it is within the traditional territories of Indigenous nations.

The BC Land Act governs access to, and use of, Crown (provincially owned) land, covering licences, leases, permits, and rights of way for:

  • agriculture,
  • communications towers,
  • geothermal resources,
  • coal,
  • gas,
  • fossils,
  • minerals,
  • bodies of water – including docks, and
  • more.

Why the amendments aren’t going forward

In conversations with stakeholder groups, the minister learned incorrect information was circulating about the proposed legislation that wasn’t true, and that there would be no impacts to tenures, renewals, private properties, or access to Crown land.

“Some figures have gone to extremes to knowingly mislead the public about what the proposed legislation would do. They have sought to divide communities and spread hurt and distrust,” said Minister Cullen.

More opportunities for consultation

Minister Cullen plans further consultation and will provide data on the benefits of shared decision-making.

After the October 2024 provincial election, amendments to the BC Land Act are expected to be once again under consideration.

Read Minister Cullen’s news release on shelving the proposed amendments.