Glenrose Cannery demolition draws ire - 24 hours

July 11, 2011
Glenrose Cannery demolition draws ire
Rich archeological finds in area

Lower Mainland residents are fighting an uphill battle to stop the province from demolishing what many consider a heritage and archeological site in Delta.

Glenrose Cannery’s demolition began last week to make way for the South Fraser Perimeter Road. The site sits on an archeological site containing artifacts and human remains dating back 9,000 years.

This comes barely a week after provincial Auditor General John Doyle released a report condemning Victoria’s approach to building the throughway.

“Information currently being provided to the public is not sufficient to ensure accountability,” he said. “The (provincial) Environmental Assessment Office cannot assure British Columbians that mitigation efforts are having the intended effects.”

To date, two civil lawsuits have been filed against the government: one claiming the demolition will disturb ancient burial grounds; the other saying it will destabilize a local bog adjacent to the cannery.

Lawyer Jay Straith is representing William Burnstick and the Burns Bog Conservation Society. He cited a 2006 provincial report that highlighted archeological and environmental concerns, and included information on burial grounds.

Straith said Burnstick, a Cree Sioux member, is suing because the province ignored that report and continued building.

“There are a lot of aboriginal remains in the areas they’re going in,” Straith said.

He added original estimates for developing the Burns Bog area were “woefully” wrong and construction companies will have to dig 30 to 50 per cent deeper to place foundation, threatening to dry out large areas of the bog.