Five parcels of the former Kettle Valley Railway (KVR) line in Penticton are being transferred to the Penticton Indian Band (PIB) in a partnership between the PIB, the federal government and Canadian Pacific (CP).

The land transfer comes after at least two years of negotiations, according to PIB Chief Jonathan Kruger, who said he’s very happy with the agreement between all parties.

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    Although the former rail line from just south of Penticton to the Trout Creek area is about 0.6 square kilometres, the five parcels amount to about 0.2 square kilometres.

    The five parcels are at the south-end of the line.

    The land will be transferred to the Penticton Indian Band Development Corporation in fee simple, which means  the band will have complete ownership of the land without any limitations or conditions.

    “This transfer brings certainty to the land base and has the potential to unlock economic benefits, both for the PIB and surrounding communities,” Federal Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau said in a news release.

    Kruger said it’s too early to say what the band will do with the land, but a PIB spokesperson made it clear the band’s interest is not in selling it.

    Garneau is scheduled to meet with representatives from CP and two PIB councillors on Tuesday in the Lower Mainland to sign off on the agreement.