Archived - Backgrounder: The Dominion Coal Blocks

Archived information

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The Dominion Coal Blocks (DCB) comprise two parcels of federal Crown land known as Parcel 73 and Parcel 82 that are located in the Kootenay region of British Columbia. Parcel 73 covers an area of approximately 2,000 hectares, and Parcel 82 covers more than 18,000 hectares.

These lands were acquired by the Government of Canada in 1905 in exchange for a subsidy used for the construction of the Crow’s Nest Pass railway, a rail pass linking British Columbia and Alberta. Since the acquisition, the Dominion Coal Blocks have remained largely unutilized, supporting limited forestry operations and recreational activities.

Since 2009, the Government has undertaken a systematic review of corporate assets to ensure good governance and value for taxpayers. The Corporate Asset Management Review also examines opportunities for transferring assets to the private sector where there is no ongoing rationale for public ownership and where the potential exists to stimulate private investment and economic activity. As a result of this process, the Government is considering a sale of portions of the DCB.