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2010 unrelated to building boom: Chief

A building boom is happening on highly visible Squamish Nation land east of the Lions Gate Bridge.

But the Nation's executive operating officer, who is also a VANOC director, denies any connection to the 2010 Winter Olympics.

"This is an ongoing project, really nothing to do with 2010," said Chief Gibby Jacob. "We've been building homes for our membership since 1970."

Jacob said it's costing $7.2 million to build 60 houses on the Capilano Indian Reserve in 2009-10. The area near the bridge in West Vancouver has space for 300 lots.

"That barely puts a dent in the number of our members waiting for homes," Jacob said, referring to the waiting list of 1,000.

No houses were built there during the fiscal year that ended March 31, he said.

A nearby stand of trees was logged and paved to make way for temporary office space in Britco trailers.

The Olympic torch relay stops at the reserve, also known as Homulchesan, on Feb. 10. The Lions Gate Bridge will be the main bus link between downtown Vancouver and the Games' outdoor venues.

Bob Mackin reports for Vancouver 24 hours

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