Ladysmith & District Credit Union is the first tenant to sign a lease with Coast Salish Development at it’s Oyster Bay project on the Trans Canada Highway at Oyster Sto’Lo Road.
“Today is an opportunity to bring partners together,” Stz’uminus Chief John Elliott said at an on-site ceremony June 24. “It just shows how much we have changed our mindset. I thank you for joining us and being part of Stz’uminus.”
The site, which is on Stz’uminus First Nation lands, will be the first development undertaken by the Stz’uminus since their historic signing onto the First Nation’s Land Management Framework (FNLM).
“I am just thrilled to be here,” said LDCU Director, Brian Childs just before the signing. “We have been in this community for 70 years.” Later he added, “This is not a gamble for us, this is a stake in the community, and we’re going to be here for a long time.”
The credit union is looking to open a 1,200 square foot location, which will anchor the first phase of the planned 70,000 square foot shopping centre. In a release the day before the ceremony, LDCU CEO John de Leeuw said the location makes sense. “The access from the Trans Canada Highway will make it even easier for all of our members to access our banking services,” he said.
Elliott said the ground-breaking ceremony showed appreciation for the “many politicians, businesses and organizations that have supported the Stz’uminus First Nation in their efforts to begin development at Oyster Bay,” as well as the new relationship with Ladysmith & District Credit Union.
He reserved his final thank you to the Stz’uminus people. “Most of all I need to thank my community,” Elliott said. “I think without the community and without people giving us the direction we need to go – it’s so very important to us.”