ARCHIVED - Government of Canada Divestiture of Crown Lands

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August 30, 2013

OTTAWA — The Government of Canada is considering an open competitive sale of portions of the Dominion Coal Blocks located in the Kootenay region of British Columbia. The Dominion Coal Blocks were acquired by the Government of Canada in 1905 in exchange for the support it provided for rail construction through the Crow’s Nest Pass, a mountain pass linking British Columbia and Alberta. The potential sale stems from a general review of federal corporate assets launched in 2009 to assess whether continued public ownership remains relevant, to examine opportunities for transferring assets to the private sector with the objective of stimulating additional economic activity, and to ensure that tax dollars are spent wisely.

In 2010, Prime Minister Harper committed to ensuring the sustained protection of the Flathead River Watershed. As such, the portions of the Dominion Coal Blocks that overlap with the Watershed would not be included in the contemplated sale.  The Government of Canada is in discussions with the Province of British Columbia to determine the best approach to ensure the ongoing protection from development of the entire Flathead River Watershed. 

The Government of Canada is currently engaged in consultations with local Aboriginal communities, and is in discussions with the Government of British Columbia and other key stakeholders, with respect to the potential competitive sale of portions of the Dominion Coal Blocks.  

If the Government of Canada proceeds with a sale, a public notice would be issued to announce the launch of the sales process. The Canada Development Investment Corporation would serve as the Government’s agent and ensure that any sale process is conducted using best commercial practices.

Media may contact: 

David Provencher
Press Secretary
Office of Canada's Minister of Natural Resources
613-996-2007

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-992-4447

Bram Sepers
Communications
Office of the Minister of State (Finance)
613-996-7861

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance
613-996-8080

Aboriginal consultation:

Tim Gardiner
Director, Energy Systems Management
Natural Resources Canada
(613) 947-1855

Stakeholder engagement:

Tim Gardiner
Director, Energy Systems Management
Natural Resources Canada
(613) 947-1855

The following media backgrounder is available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media: