Spring cleaning started early for Lax Kw’alaams with a community-wide clean up, but where the junk is going has prompted the Ministry of Environment to investigate the band for dumping on Crown land.
On Jan. 17, the Lax Kw’alaams Band posted on Facebook that it was demolishing the old school and it was removing large pieces of junk from the community, including the harbour, which will need to be removed and destroyed. Then on Jan. 26, the band posted the school had been knocked down and the clean-up begins.
The Ministry of Environment has since been informed about junk being disposed on Crown land.
“The Conservation Officer Service is aware of this situation. There is an open investigation related to this matter and we are unable to provide further details at this time,” said David Karn, media relations for Ministry of Environment, in an email on March 1.
In response to the investigation, Erminio Pucci, the CEO of Lax Kw’alaams Business Development, said he hasn’t been contacted by the ministry, and neither has the band’s director of operations.
“We did demolish the school, we haven’t dumped anything that I’m aware of, but I was made aware, after I did a little bit of investigation, that a few years ago, way before my time, a few derelict homes were demolished and created kind of a dump site, but again that is slated to be taken out with this clean up,” Pucci said.
The community is also dragging up a few derelict boats that have sunk in the harbour, and there is another shed-sized derelict building that will be demolished and removed.
“The current leadership is looking at cleaning up and making the community much more desirable,” he said.