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Volume 10 . Issue 3

April 2014

TY natio A E ti

TR des N ts I M si

’A ache A L re

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THE COMING OF GEESE Treaty is on our minds as spring arrives Publisher: Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council Gary Reith, Chief Administrative Officer (604) 943-6712 1-888-382-7711 Salish Sea Publishing Editorial Inquiries: (250) 246-3438 Advertising inquires: (250) 510-9853 The Salish Sea Sentinel is published monthly, eleven times a year by the Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council. NmTC was incorporated as a nonprofit society in 1983 and is governed by a board of directors from each of our eleven member First Nations. Our nations are located around the Salish Sea (see map on inside back cover). There are about 6,500 people who hold membership in our nations. The word Naut’sa mawt means working together as one. The NmTC mission is to support and strengthen the capabilities of our Coast Salish member communities by developing skilled leadership, strong governance, resiliency and self-sufficiency. NmTC is charged with providing advisory services in five delivery areas: • Economic Development • Financial Management • Community Planning • Technical Services and • Governance Cover photo: Alexa Washington, 9, gave coins to witnesses throughout the ceremony. Her mother Michelle (left) looked on.

In the Hul’qumi’num language, this is Liimus, which means the coming of the geese formations in our skies. It is also a time to celebrate, and think about, treaty. One of our nations celebrates the signing of a final agreement with BC and Canada, another is finding another path. The nations in Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council have been involved in the BC treaty process for more than 20 years. Tsawwassen led the way five years ago when it signed the first urban treaty and is making its presence felt in the Lower Mainland and beyond. Now Sliammon has signed its treaty and is looking forward to

making the Indian Act history. But Stz’uminus is finding that it can move ahead outside of treaty, especially when it comes to economic development. Treaty may not be for everyone. But what is certain is that we are all moving into nation-building in a manner that suits our communities best. We have been pleased and heartened by the hands that have been raised to The Salish Sea Sentinel since we began publishing earlier this year. Support has come from many community members as well as from governments and businesses.

CONTACTS AT NmTC NATIONS 1. HALALT (250) 246-4736 2. HOMALCO (250) 923-4979 3. KLAHOOSE Qathen Xwegus Management Corp (250) 935-6536 4. MALAHAT (250) 743-3231 5. SLIAMMON (604) 483-9646 6. SNAW-NAW-AS (Nanoose) (250) 390-3661 7. SNUNEYMUXW (Nanaimo) (250) 740-2300 8. STZ’UMINUS (Chemainus) (250) 245-7155 9. TSAWWASSEN (604) 948-5219 10. TSEIL-WAU-TUTH (Burrard) (604) 929-3454 11. T’SOU-KE (Souke) (250) 642-3957



TIME OUT STZ’UMINUS SAYS ABOUT TREATY “Time-out” In the midst of revenue earning projects, a nation looks closely at its treaty debts. Stz’uminus First Nation is taking a ‘time-out’ from treaty as of April 1. After more than 20 years and accumulating about $5 million in debt, it has told five other nations in the Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group that it is withdrawing from the treaty process. “We have been working as a nation the previous few years to be financially responsible and it was time to address this (treaty) area,” chief and council said in a statement to the community. The treaty group was founded in 1993 to jointly negotiate a treaty with BC and Canada. It represented over 6,000 members in Stz’uminus, Cowichan, Halalt, Lake Cowichan, Lyackson and Penelakut. “It was determined that the best option for Stz’uminus would be to withdraw from Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group and take a temporary ‘time-out’ from participating in treaty negotiations. This option provides for a clean break and the greatest protection from liability for treaty-related debt going forward,” Taking a close look its debt loads is

The logos of the six nations that made up the Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group.

becoming more familiar to the chief and council as Stz’uminus becomes something of an economic development powerhouse on central Vancouver Island. Through its wholly-owned Coast Salish Development Corporation, the nation has a partnership in a $200 million liquefied natural gas storage facility with Fortis BC, 1,600 hectares of woodlot under management control, service agreements with

the Town of Ladysmith, a real estate partnership with Couverdon near Ladysmith and other projects underway. Then there was the recent overwhelming support by voters in support of the First Nation Land Management process to get jurisdiction over lands. Most recently, the nation announced its long-awaited Oyster Bay-Four Corners development, a 20-year project that includes tourist accommodations, retail, a golf course and new housing in the area. Those accomplishments, when compared to 21 years in the treaty process, had a bearing on the Stz’uminus decision. Other than a handful of agreements, protocols, memoranda of understanding and some capacity building, treaty did not seem to offer much to the nation. Chief and council had… “requested administration work to provide options with respect to treaty negotiations,” the community statement said, “with the goal being not to continue to have Stz’uminus First Nation incur any further debt going forward.”


3-7 p.m. Tsawwassen First Nation treaty anniversary Celebrate the fifth anniversary of TFN’s treaty effective day with family fun activities TFN Recreation Centre

April 7

9-11:30 a.m. BC Hydro standing offer program VI Conference Centre 101 Gordon Street, Nanaimo


April 8

9-11:30 a.m. BC Hydro standing offer program The Westin Grand 433 Robson Street, Vancouver

April 12

5-8 p.m. Sliammon Youth Soccer fundraiser Carlson Community Club 4463 Joyce Avenue, Powell River

July 25

Industry Council for Aboriginal Business Recognition awards Vancouver Rowing Club 450 Stanley Park Drive

November 1

Kwunew Kwasun Cultural Resource Centre fundraiser Malahat First Nation Early bird tickets, contact Sharon at or 250-743-3231


Flooded farm fields near Halalt with the Trans Canada Highway in the distance.

CLAIMS TRIBUNAL HEARING AT HALALT IN JUNE Halalt seeking compensation for damage caused by E&N Railway When the railway cut through reserve lands almost 130 years ago, it had implications that are still being felt today. A Canada specific claims tribunal will take place in June in the Halalt First Nation gym to hear details of issues, some of which date back to 1885. The tribunal, which has all the powers of a superior court, will hear Halalt’s claim that its reserve lands were used for the construction of the E&N Railway were taken without legal authority in 1885 and 1912. Halalt is seeking compensation for flooding caused by the railway that has damaged buildings and fish habitat. It says the flooding also has cut off access to part of the reserve and has the use and development of some of its lands, making them of no practical use for housing, agriculture or other purposes. HalaIt first submitted its claim to Canada in 1998, ten years before the government set up the tribunal process. Canada has admitted it failed to provide adequate

The railway bridge is a bottleneck in the Chemainus River and causes flooding upstream.

compensation for 10.95 acres taken in 1885 and an additional .27 acres of lands taken in 1912. But the government denies taking the lands was unlawful or in breach of statutory requirements Canada entered into the agreement for the construction of the E&N Railway in 1883. The Specific Claims Tribunal was

established as part of Canada’s Justice at Last policy, a joint initiative with the Assembly of First Nations that was aimed at accelerating the resolution of specific claims in order to provide justice for First Nations claimants and certainty for government, industry and all Canadians. Learn more about Specific Claims Tribunal Canada at SALISH SEA SENTINEL • 3


GEODUCK APPROACH UNDER SCRUTINY A draft geoduck management framework from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) was under scrutiny in late March when the Aboriginal Aquaculture Association hosted a meeting in Nanaimo. DFO has been developing its revised integrated geoduck management approach for more than a year and is soliciting comments on the document. “In our view the draft framework does provide some positive developments, such as opening up unique opportunities for First Nations in all coastal areas of BC and, in particular, moving beyond the current limitations to the Strait of Georgia,” said Chief Richard Harry who heads the AAA. But Chief Harry said there were “a number of issues in the proposed draft framework that appear to seriously limit the potential… to be economically attractive to First Nations who wish to enter geoduck aquaculture. “The purpose of our meeting will be to ensure we have a common understanding of the draft policy that DFO is proposing, share our internal analysis of the policy including both its opportunities and areas needing improvement.” He pointed out that the Nanaimo session was not a consultation session. The public consultation period ends on April 19. A full report will appear in the May issue.


CARLEEN IS REMARKABLE Tsleil-Waututh woman honoured for her work and vision If you have heard about the TransMountain pipeline project, chances are that Carleen Thomas had something to do with the message. She has been the often behind-thescenes ambassador for Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s Sacred Trust Initiative, the nation’s opposition to the proposed Kinder Morgan project about to be considered by Canada’s National Energy Board. In early March, on International Woman’s Day, a poster featuring Carleen was unveiled along with eleven others at the Remarkable Woman event honouring women who around Vancouver. The posters are displayed in community centres, schools and libraries throughout the area to highlight the important role women play in our daily lives. The theme for 2014 event sponsored by the Vancouver Park Board is The Year of Reconciliation. The opening words on Carleen’s poster say: “To reconcile is to weave a stronger brighter fabric from the unique and diverse strengths of the people. Over a lifetime of activism, Carleen Thomas has woven such a web, made from strands of compassion, understanding, and unity. “In a world where the haves and have nots are pitted against one another not knowing where the true battle lies, and the tattered remains of indigenous peoples’ history have left a troubled path to

Carleen Thomas

walk, Carleen has persevered with patience, kindness, and love” Carleen served on Tsleil-Waututh council for 16 years and has worked in community development, education, policing, health and hosing, not to mention serving on the Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council board of directors. “In all this work,” the poster says, “she’s embodied the heart of reconciliation as if it were living and breathing, treating everyone with respect, grace, and diplomacy… Constantly on the road talking to any who will listen, Carleen honours the responsibility of aboriginal people to protect sacred mother earth for future generations.”


The landscaping equipment can also be used in the community. Inset: Chief Bob and the former MLA at a meeting in 2010.

LANDSCAPING BUSINESS GROWING AT SNAW-NAW-AS “Making friends on the outside pays off big time,” says chief as grant comes through to start a new business. Snaw-naw-as First Nation is getting into the landscape business. Chief David Bob said that, thanks to a $75,000 grant, the nation would soon be buying all the equipment needed to run a landscaping business in the Parksville/ Nanoose Bay area. “We will be getting a small tractor, truck, a lawn mower, a snow blower and other tools to run the business,” the chief said. “There will be a supervisor and two workers and on-going training. I think it will be a good business. The grant came from a promise made to Chief Bob by former MLA Ron Cantelon. The provincial government recently delivered on that promise and fulfilled a commitment made to Snawnaw-as to help pay for landscaping equipment to maintain the Craig Bay provincial heritage site. A developer owned the Craig Bay property in the early 1990s and condominiums were planned. But during excavation, human remains were un-

earthed with archaeologists estimating that they ranged in age from a few hundred to more than 3,000 years. Construction stopped and after negotiations, BC purchased the 14 acres. “The Snaw-naw-as people would like to thank the province for this funding,” Snaw-naw-as First Nation Chief David Bob said. “It shows we are working together to create employment opportunities that will improve the lives of some of our citizens.” BC purchased 14 acres of land at Craig Bay in 1995. The land contains an important Snaw-naw-as burial ground. Since the purchase, the provincial government has cared for and maintained the site near Parksville. In 2011, members of Snaw-naw-as were contracted to maintain the grounds and cut the grass in the summer months. With the new funding, the nation can purchase new equipment and provide training to develop a landscaping business that will serve surrounding area.

“This funding will help the Snawnaw-as First Nation build on their successes and develop what has the potential to become a thriving business,” Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell said. “Their efforts will benefit band members and contribute to our local community. I wish them every success.” Chief Bob said help from many people would assist in getting the new business off the ground. “We joined the chamber of commerce in Parksville and they have helped us with our business plan. Making friends on the outside pays off big time.” He said the equipment being purchased would also be put to good use on the streets and lands in the community when not serving its customers. The chief said that the next big challenge for the company is coming up with a name. “We’re looking for a good one, so if anyone has ideas, let me know.” SALISH SEA SENTINEL • 5


THE TLA’AMIN ARE SELF-GOVERNING AGAIN The Salish Sea Sentinel hired 22-year-old Johnny Hanuse, a writer/photographer from Klahoose First Nation, to attend the Tla’amin treaty ceremony. This is his report. Dwight Hall in Powell River was packed with people, emotions and change on March 14, for this day was for the signing of the final agreement of treaty for the Tla’amin people. Treaty has been an ongoing Writer Johnny Hanuse project for Tla’amin for many years. It has been a long journey with lots of twists and turns. However, when the road is filled with hardships, getting to where you want to be is one of the most accomplished feelings someone can experience. A nation reached its destination. Of course, not everyone is going to be happy with the destination. Human ideas and needs are different for everybody and that is the scary and beautiful part of being human. At the podium, dressed in traditional colours, Eugene Louie said, “We are where we want to be”. The official signing of the treaty brought a mix of emotions, but for those who were at the Dwight Hall the majority of people were in support and were proud of their accomplishments. One could feel the energy in the room. It was bright. There was deep low hum that buzzed from the morning until the signing ceremony came to an end. When Chief Clint William gave his speech, despite the seriousness and significance of this day, he had a huge grin on his face the entire time. He said “I bet you guys are wondering why we are holding the signing ceremony at the Dwight Hall and not at our cultural centre. It was held here because I wanted to honour the traditional village of our people here in Townsite”. For Chief Williams, signing the treaty is about conquering the fear of change. He said: “We’ve been here for thousands of years and we’re going to be here for thousands more, although now we’ll be following the laws made by our people”. Tla’amin is the ninth nation in British Columbia to sign a treaty in the current treaty process. March 14, 2014 will be marked down in history as the day the Tla’amin took a leap forward, and achieved a major milestone. Although it took a long time to get where they are today, now the real work begins. Signing this treaty will resonate with more people than those in their community it will also reach people from around BC and Canada. Continued on page 8



Members of Sliammon council sign the treaty document with Canada and BC representatives.



Above, Chief Clint Williams waves a Tla’amin Nation flag following the treaty signing. Plenty of youth were included in the celebration (right). Homalco councillor Darren Blaney (middle right) and emcee Eugene Louie (far right). OPPOSITE PAGE: Klahoose councillor Mavis Kok (top), Sliammon chiefs gathered for a photo after the treaty signing (middle), and drummers and singer entertained the crowd (bottom).


Puglaas (Jody Wilson Raybould), the regional chief of the BC Assembly of First Nations, said: “Change is never an easy thing to do, and especially a significant change, but it signifies going forward as a nation”. When the treaty document was 8 • SALISH SEA SENTINEL

signed, the crowd cheered, and some sighed. Chief Williams grabbed a large Tla’amin First Nation flag and waved it with pride. The crowd waved their flags back. The entire Dwight hall was fluttering with white. There was song and dance in honour of the celebration of treaty signing. Afterwards, Eugene Louie offered the

microphone to the guests. People came up on stage to say positive and some negative thoughts. At the close, Eugene said, “Before colonization we were already self-governing and we have just made a very long circle back. Whatever problems that come up we will be able to deal with them, and I think we’re going to have a good future”.


Where ancestors walked The treaty signing on March 15 took place at Dwight Hall, once the site of the old Sliammon village of Tees Kwat (Big River), a permanent winter village located at the mouth of the Powell River. In the late 1800s, as European settler recognized the development potential of the land, the Sliammon people there were relocated several kilometres to the north and a large paper mill was built. The river was dammed and, by 1913, the salmon run in the river ended as the settlement of Townsite was established.

Good-bye Indian Act The treaty means true self-government for the Tla’amin people for the first time since the late 1800s. It details the nation’s ownership and management of minerals, forestry and other resources on treaty lands as well as fishing and gathering rights. Tla’amin gets more than 8,000 hectares of land that includes 1,900 hectares of the former Sliammon reserve lands and 6,405 hectares of former provincial land. Once treaty has been implemented, there will be a $29.7 million capital transfer to the nation as well as $6.9 million in economic development funding and $250,000 for a fishing boat. Treaty effective date is scheduled for April 2016. The agreement must still be ratified by Parliament. Several Sliammon members will soon go to Ottawa when the document is introduced in the House of Commons. It took 16 years of discussions within the community and hard talking to negotiators from Canada and BC before Sliammon was able to complete an agreement in June 2010. In the four years since, the nation worked on details about governance, taxation and other matters essential to nationhood. A vote on the final treaty agreement was held in the community in July 2012. Voting was for several weeks when a handful of anti-treaty protesters blocked the way to Salish Centre. However, the eventual vote was decidedly in favour of a treaty with 318 community members voting yes and 235 against.



TOOLKIT LAUNCHED FOR HOUSING MANAGERS Sharing knowledge with the NmTC housing networking team Safe, healthy and affordable on-reserve rental housing…those things are seen as essential by most First Nation housing managers. Delegates to a recent Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council (NmTC) housing networking team workshop heard about a new policy development toolkit to help them meet their rental housing goals. The toolkit is the second phase of a project that is national in scope, funded by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and administered by NmTC as part of its non-core services. More than 20 First Nations have already signed on to collaborate on the project. Representatives attended the workshop from the Tsleil-Waututh, Sliammon, Halalt, Snuneymuxw, Tsawwassen, Homalco and Stz’uminus as well as guests from Cowichan Tribes, the Penelakut Tribe and Quatsino First Nation. The Safe, healthy and affordable on-reserve rental housing toolkit is the second phase of the project. The

first, entitled “A Community Wide Approach” was completed one year ago. Eric Blueschke gave a project progress report to the networking team. He explained that it was a knowledge sharing and capacity building project designed to create tools that will support First Nations in the development of comprehensive on-reserve rental policies, lease agreements and housing committee terms of reference. Project participants include: • Anishinaabeg of Naongashing First Nation • Carcross/Tagish First Nation • Cayoose Creek First Nation • Hupacasath First Nation • Huu-ay-aht First Nations • Kluane First Nation • Na Cho Nyak Dun First Nation • Ochiichagwe’babigo’ining Ojibway Nation • Quatsino First Nation • Skownan First Nation The toolkit presentation was followed by a group discussion on how NmTC

can best support its member nations to improve on-reserve housing conditions. The tribal council plans to hold four housing manager networking workshops during the coming year. Topics of interest include: First Nations Market Housing Fund, shelter allowance, housing manager accreditation and working with municipalities. Potential projects for the 2014/15 financial year include: • Rental housing policy development toolkit 2nd Edition; • Rent-to-own policy development toolkit 1st Edition; • Feasibility study of options for development of an NmTC housing manager support portal; and • Professional and institutional development. More information about the NmTC housing networking team can be obtained by phoning our Tsawwassen office at: 604-943-6712 or toll free at 1-888-382-7711.

Safe, healthy and affordable on-reserve rental housing. Inset: Eleanor White of Snuneymuxw opened the housing session.



KLAHOOSE MILL AT THE CUTTING EDGE T’oq Woodworks is the Klahoose First Nation company that began cutting wood and making value-added products since last year. Named after the Klahoose name for Squirrel Cove on Cortes Island, T’oq Woodworks specializes in custom lumber cutting and milling with a wood supply that comes straight from the nation’s traditional territory in the Toba Valley and on Cortes. It offers various grades of Western red cedar and Douglas fir products, producing rough-cut lumber in custom and standard dimensions. The company also makes a variety of wood products such as fence panels, custom furniture and functional pieces such as bowls.

PADDLERS PREPARE FOR JOURNEY Many communities around the Salish Sea, and beyond, are preparing for Tribal Journey – Qatuwas 2014 – which ends in Bella Bella this year. The organizing group based at Heiltsuk First Nation is seeking individuals interested in helping on a volunteer committee and to assign certified individuals for work in various areas including security, first aid, arts and crafts as well as ambassadors. “The

promotion of volunteerism in our community highlights group cohesion and positive reinforcement of our values and traditions,” organizers said. Qatuwas 2014 will create a volunteer (witness) committee to handle special events and front line social activities. “The servant volunteer concept of what is brought to an organization, according to Larry C. Spears ,is listening, empathy, heal-

ing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people and building community.” The Qatuwas (People gathering together) festival will be held from July 13-19. More than 100 canoes with over 1,000 pullers and about 5,000 visitors are expected. More info from qatuwas2014@

CLEAN ENERGY FOCUS OF HYDRO MEETINGS First Nations interested in small clean energy projects will be sitting in on a series of regional meetings with BC Hydro in early April. The Crown corporation wants input on potential changes to its standing-offer program that could include new ways for First Nations to participate. BC Hydro’s mandate is to generate, purchase, distribute and sell electricity. Meetings will be held in Nanaimo, Vancouver and other cities in the BC Interior.

The Nanaimo meeting will be held at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in the downtown core on Monday, April 7 from 9-11:30 a.m. The Vancouver gathering will be held at the same times on Tuesday, April 8 at the Westin Grand at 433 Robson Street. Funding of $250 is available for up to two people from First Nations to attend the meetings. Hydro has already received substantial feedback from First Nations and other stakeholders who are interested in clean

energy opportunities throughout the province. It aims to increase participation by First Nations and independent power producers in its clean energy strategy through its standing offer program (SOP). The SOP is for clean or renewable energy projects that produce less than 15 MW. BC Hydro is also working on micro-projects that produce up to 1 MW. For more information, contact: standing. or phone 1-877-4610161, extension 3. SALISH SEA SENTINEL • 11


CHIEF THOMAS HEADS NMTC BOARD Chief James Thomas of Halalt First Nation was acclaimed as chair of Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council when the board of directors held an early March meeting in Vancouver. He replaces Doug White II of Snuneymuxw who no longer sits on his council. Chief Thomas will also heads the NmTC executive with Chief Gordon Planes of T’Sou-ke and Terry Sampson of Stz’uminus. Directors also heard from acting chief administrative officer Gary Reith about the program of work and the budget for the 2014/15 financial year that will guide continu-

The NmTC board votes on a motion.

ing operations of NmTC. He also summarized the tribal council’s work over

the past year in terms of its core and non-core activities.

BOARD HEARS JOBS FOLLOW TRAINING “The government doesn’t want to fund just training, but jobs.” There was a lively discussion by everyone in attendance following a presentation by Terry Baird of Tsawwassen who outlined the Aboriginal skills employment training strategy for 2014. Baird, who also heads his nation’s Gateway Skills Centre, spoke about the First Nation Employment Society (FNES), which represents ten nations around the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast. It cooperates with the Coast Salish Employment Training Society on Vancouver Island which represents 19 First Nations and three Friendship Centres. He spoke about the opportunities available through the federal governments $109 million First Nations job fund and the increased training and employment services that will be available around the Salish Sea. “The government doesn’t want to fund just training, but jobs,” Baird told the directors. Walter Paul of Sliammon, an NmTC director, was appropriately sitting beside Baird. He outlined some of the assessment work he does through his work for FNES. 12 • SALISH SEA SENTINEL

Terry Baird with NmTC directors Walter Paul and Terry Sampson.

“We assess people in different ways and channel them in different directions whether it is to a job or in career planning,” he said. In addition to skills assessments, FNES provides job coaching for on-reserve people and personalized training. “FNES believes that working with First Nations on a collective basis provides

economis of scale for community-based learning,” Baird said. He said that many smaller nations will not be able to access funds or enhanced services from the new job fund. “So, let’s work together.” Plans are now underway to create a specific project as well as a better working relationship between FNES and NmTC.


TWN EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES Here is a summary of four employment opportunities at Tsleil-Waututh Nation. Closing date for applications is April 4. Contact the human resources department (below) for more information or visit Executive Assistant Community Development Dept Full-Time (1 year, possible extension) The executive assistant provides a wide range of administrative support to the director of community development which contributes to the efficient and professional operation of the department’s team. Early Childhood Educator Child and Family Development Centre Full-time (maternity leave) The early childhood educator works under the direction of the manager of Tsleil-Waututh Nation Child and Family Development Centre, the Head Teacher and in cooperation with staff to provide quality, inclusive, emergent child care and family support services.

Home and Community Care Worker Community Development Casual/On-Call Reporting to the community health manager, this position performs home support duties for clients approved for home and community care services and according to the approved client care plan. Personal Care Worker Community Development Casual/On-Call Reporting to the community health manager, this position provides house cleaning, client interaction and health observation services to clients. Hours vary from client to client, and may require travel to various homes to perform home support duties as per the client care plan. Apply by sending your cover letter, résumé and references to: Sabrina Lewis, Human Resources Generalist, 3075 Takaya Drive, North Vancouver, B.C., V7H 3A8 or via email to



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