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A B.C. developer is calling on the province to fix gaps in heritage conservation laws, after the City of Abbotsford recently rejected his bid to build a farm equipment dealership on a property believed to be the site of aboriginal mass graves.

“This is a huge problem,” said John Glazema, director of Corpus Management Group, who lives in Abbotsford. “I feel betrayed because there shouldn't be these types of encumbrances against private properties without having it highlighted on land title.”

At the heart of the dispute is a 160-acre property on the slopes of Sumas Mountain, currently a mixture of farm pasture and woodlands. Corpus bought the property in 2011 at a foreclosure auction, with a plan to build a $40-million residential and industrial project, which would include a retail mall for farm equipment.

Corpus Management planned to build a $40-million residential and industrial project on the site, including a retail mall for farm equipment ( Corpus Management)

“I thought it was a great opportunity,” Glazema said. “We're there to support the agricultural community that keeps this community alive, that employs more people than any other industry.”

But members of the Sumas First Nation were dismayed when they learned of the proposal...

Aboriginal gravesites halt $40M development plan in Abbotsford - Aboriginal - CBC

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