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The Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations helped bless a 250-metre-long panel of murals

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Compiled by Debora Steel







The Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations helped bless a 250-metre-long panel of murals to mark the anticipated completion of the $138-million cleanup of 17 acres of contaminated land and seabed at Rock Bay. It’s been an 11-year-long job and, upon completion, four acres of the site will be sold to the Nations. While they don’t have specific plans for the downtown lands, the goal, they say, is economic development, the Times Colonist reports. The property along Government and Pembroke streets had been called one of Canada’s most toxic sites, reads the article. Rock Bay once held the site of a coal gasification facility and was filled with waste, including coal tar, which damaged the soil, groundwater and harbour, an “unwelcome inheritance from a time long ago when there was little regard for the environment,” said Greg Reimer, B.C. Hydro spokesman. The company owns part of the lands and will monitor over the next five years.