Referendum Clears Way For PBCN Development

Friday, February 08, 2008 at 15:07



The successful passage of a referendum last month has one of the province’s largest First Nations resurrecting development plans in Prince Albert.


Members of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation approved the designation of 23 pieces of band property across northeast Saskatchewan for commercial purposes.


Chief Darrell McCallum says the vote clears the way for a long talked-about extension of the Northern Lights Casino into an adjacent lot — as well as the establishment of a First Nations bank or mini-plaza behind the band’s gas bar on 2nd Avenue.


McCallum says many of these properties still have to be turned into reserve — but he doesn’t expect that to be a problem.


He says getting the approval of the band’s membership was the biggest hurdle to clear.


The band’s first attempt to get the referendum passed failed last August when not enough band members took part. There was no minimum voter requirement in last month’s vote.