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Aug 20, 2014

Unitedville Land Dispute Remains Unresolved Several Months Later

There was a land dispute in the western community of Unitedville in March. In a nutshell, the Ministry of Natural Resources issued title to Bernadette Fischer for five acres of land in the community. Not a problem, usually, except that this particular piece of land was occupied and had been for years…some of it for many years. Fischer didn’t seem to care much, and issued all residents with an eviction notice. The residents, twenty-six families, got anxious and made some noise. That noise made its way to the media and from there to the Lands Department. A meeting was set up with Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and, we were assured back then that the situation was put to rest. On several occasions, Commissioner of Lands Wilbert Vallejos told News Five that the residents of that parcel of land would not be moved, and the matter was settled.

 

Wilbert Vallejos, Commissioner of Lands

Wilbert Vallejos

“We’ve met with the villagers in Unitedville. We’ve met with the landowner and we’ve reached to a compromise. We’ve agreed on something. As a matter of fact, when it was recognized by the Lands Department and the person who received the land that there were some occupiers of the land she immediately came to us and told us she was concerned. So she proceeded to get permission to subdivide the land on the condition…and we granted her permission to subdivide, on the condition that she excises out the parcels of land that were occupied on the entire fifty acres and agreed to transfer it to them, or transfer it to government so that the government could have settled with them. During the arrangement that she had with the Lands Department as it relates to the squatters and allowing them to stay there and giving it back to the government, somebody who was not originally there when she got the land moved onto her land, or moved onto the land and so she got really upset and concerned that somebody who was not part of the whole thing just moved in and joined the others in trying to get rights over the land. So she proceeded in carrying that person to court, and if there is a court situation it’s between her and that person who came in lately on the land, and not on the people who were there already. So we’re looking forward in completing the subdivision and she transferring those lands to the government so that then the government can handle and settle the matter with the settlers.”

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