Apr 11, 2023

Statement on Crown Water Lot Lease Transfer

The Town of Ladysmith is providing an update to the public regarding the transfer of the Crown water lot lease to Stz’uminus First Nation.  The Town continues to support the transfer process and remains hopeful that all parties can reach a cooperative solution.

In 2022, the Town was contacted by the Province and Stz’uminus First Nation and presented with an option to transfer the water lot lease to the Nation prior to the 2029 contract end date.

The Town holds the water lot lease with the Province, and the Ladysmith Maritime Society (LMS) manages and operates a community marina within that water lot.

During these discussions, the Province notified the Town that some of the marina operations were not permitted in accordance with the Crown lease terms, and could impact commercial activity occurring in the harbour.

The Town and Stz’uminus have a mutual interest in seeing the continuation of marina operations at the water lot.

The early transfer of the Crown lease is an opportunity for both communities to strengthen our shared long-term economic prosperity through the environmental remediation of the harbour.

As such, Stz’uminus offered LMS an agreement to continue operating the community marina until 2026 under the same terms as the contract with the Town.  The agreement offered by Stz’uminus included the option for LMS to negotiate new terms after the initial three years had passed. 

An agreement between the two sides has not been reached, in part, due to a misunderstanding on the part of LMS that the operating agreement through to 2026 was open to negotiation. 

The Town continues working with the Province and Stz’uminus to maintain the marina operations as it is an asset to the community.

The Town is also aware of a Provincial grant that was received by LMS in recent months.  The grant conditions, including the required return of funds, are solely between the Province and the Society. 

Furthermore, despite the Crown lease arrangement, the Town and/or Council was not consulted by LMS on either of the last two Provincial grants and is therefore unable to comment further.

The Town appreciates the community’s interest in the future of the marina and will continue to keep all informed on the ongoing next steps and updates.

Moorage continues to be managed by LMS and boaters should contact the marina for details specific to their contracts.