Highway Interchange Project


Land transfer for highway interchange project

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July 13, 2017 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation.

It is voting day for on-reserve members to decide on the proposed transfer of land required for a new Highway 104 interchange and future commercial development opportunities..

The interchange would give us access to our reserve land on the south side of the highway that we have not been able to use fully since the mid-1960s. It also paves the way for exciting new commercial and retail development that will create own-source revenues to fund programs that directly benefit you, your family and our entire community.

It means less dependence on other governments, more jobs for our community and further opportunities to promote economic development, our culture and our pride in our Mi’kmaw heritage.


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Yes, an independent appraiser (Turner Drake & Partners) that we hired has set fair compensation to the Band at $2.37 million. This is for the highway expansion and improvement, and covers five main categories:

  • Removal or relocation of seven houses – $1,322,000

  • Compensation for 67 acres of land:

    • 32.8 acres of reserve land – $498,500

34.3 acres of private ‘fee simple’ land – $337,200

  • Compensation for reduced property values – $189,200

  • Moving costs – $17,500

  • Site improvements – $8,400

Read the complete compensation report here. (link to .pdf).

In total, about 27 hectares (67 acres) of reserve land and fee-simple (privately owned) is required for the highway project.

No, the highway project is totally separate from any prior claims brought by Paqtnkek.

Our legal agreement requires that any surplus land be returned to Paqtnkek, at no charge, and in the same condition it was in before the land was surrendered.

The provincial and federal governments would cost-share the entire cost of the construction project. The estimate as of May 2017 is $15.3 million. Better still, the province has agreed to maintain the new roads at no cost to Paqtnkek.

A YES vote will clear the way for the provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to issue a tender right away for the construction project. Earth moving could begin as early as this fall and the project could be completed within 30 months. You can see a 3-D display model of the proposed project in the gym.

Chief and council would be responsible for holding community meetings to discuss ideas for how the band might use the compensation. In general, it is safe to say it could be used for things like road paving, housing, church repairs and landscaping needs. But again, we want to hear your ideas before making any decisions.

We are working very closely with the provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to ensure that the new interchange and connector roads are as safe as possible for all users. Some roads will be straightened and improved for the safety of all.

The main contractor will be required to meet a 20 per cent Mi’kmaw hiring threshold. If Paqtnkek workers cannot fill that 20 per cent, any jobs not filled locally would be offered to those in the nearest Mi’kmaw communities in Nova Scotia, then in the Maritimes, Atlantic Canada, etc.

Information packages are being sent to all eligible voters, whether they live on-reserve or elsewhere in Canada and the United States. On-reserve voters will hand in their ballots and declaration forms in the Paqtnkek gym on July 13th. Off-reserve voters will mail their ballots and declaration forms to Judy Crossman. It’s important that the ballot and declaration form be filled out properly!

Absolutely critical! The Indian Act states that we need a ‘double majority’, which means not only must 208 of the 413 eligible voters cast their ballots, but of those 208 who do vote, more than half of them (105) must vote YES for the land transfer to take place. So the magic number is a minimum of 105 YES votes.

This website contains the most up-to-date information. If you have questions about the highway construction project or future economic development opportunities, you can speak with Chief Prosper, Rose Paul, economic development officer, or one of your councillors.


June 1:  Official legal posting of the referendum vote.

June 19:  Community engagement session on highway project, 4:00 – 8:00pm in the gym.

July 10:  Community open house, 2:00pm – 5:00pm in the gym.

July 13:  Voting Day! on land transfer, 9:00am – 8:00pm in the gym.


Aerial of interchangeArtist concept of new Highway 104 Paqtnkek interchange

Paqtnkek Southside Master Plan - Servcing Schematic_3

Artist concept of proposed commercial and residential zones on the south side


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