Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell and band councillor Joanne Charles, prior to the groundbreaking for long-awaited water/sewer infrastructure. (File photo)

Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell and band councillor Joanne Charles, prior to the groundbreaking for long-awaited water/sewer infrastructure. (File photo)

SFN, White Rock re-establish water connection

City to provide some water and sewer services

The City of White Rock and the Semiahmoo First Nation have announced the signing of new utility service agreements – a further sign the governments have turned a corner in a previously-troubled relationship.

Under the agreements, announced Thursday (March 18), White Rock will be providing some specific water supply and sewer services for the SFN.

Principal supplier of water to the SFN, through an agreement signed in 2018, remains the City of Surrey, which activated water mains connecting city supply to the First Nation in December.

READ ALSO: Mains activation a key step in Semiahmoo First Nation water project

The relationship between SFN and White Rock soured in 2016 when the city gave the First Nation 18 months notice that its limited water service to the lands would be terminated.

Interpreted as an ultimatum by SFN, the move led them to seek the agreement with Surrey.

READ ALSO: Semiahmoo First Nation lauds water agreement

Water-quality issues have been a long-term problem for the SFN since 1995, with the First Nation under a boil-water advisory since 2005.

In a joint statement released Thursday, SFN Chief Harley Chappell hailed the new agreements as a milestone in the rebuilt relationship between White Rock and the First Nation – which has been a priority of the current White Rock council, elected in 2018.

“The Semiahmoo First Nation is proud to work alongside our friends and neighbours at the City of White Rock,” Chappell said.

“These agreements renew hope in building a long-lasting partnership of respect and co-operation with the city. We look forward to the continued co-operation between our governments as we move into the future.”

White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker noted in the statement that the new utility service agreements fulfill promises made in council’s Strategic Priorities document for 2020-2021.

“(Signing) demonstrates the City’s dedication to the important partnership with our friend and neighbour, the Semiahmoo First Nation,” Walker said.

“We continue meeting as governments to strengthen our partnership and progress toward the completion of new agreements. We look forward to continuing to build trust.”

Other items in the Strategic Priorities document relating to the SFN-White Rock relationship include a memorandum of understanding for drainage, and a communication protocol.

City of White RockFirst NationsSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Parking lots were nearly full in White Rock Sunday (April 18) afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock driver cited for vehicle noise akin to that made by a plane

West Beach resident calls for increased enforcement as summer traffic ramps up

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski, Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Surrey Police Service to begin public consultation late June, early July

Community input, chief constable says, ‘will occur’

Surrey RCMP reunited three stolen puppies with their mom. (RCMP handout)
Puppies stolen from South Surrey home located, reunited with mom

Surrey RCMP said they found the stolen puppies on April 16

Welcome to your park sign marks the spot where 84th Avenue will continue east from King George Boulevard 
to 140th Street as part of a $13 million road project. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Road Rage: Opposition mounts anew to Surrey’s plan for 84 Ave. at south end of Bear Creek Park

Same place, same project, same fight as Surrey prepares once again to connect 84th Avenue between King George and 140th Street in Newton

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

John Wekking, Merritt Road Report - Facebook
 Coquihalla Road Report
Wildfire sparks off Coquihalla in Merritt

The wildfire is located near the Dollarama off of Highway 5

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read