Aboriginal Law Report
By Bruce McIvor
Our update for the week ending January 17, 2016.
In the News
While Canadians continue to wait for the new Liberal government to announce its revisions to ongoing pipeline review processes, the British Columbia provincial government came out in opposition to Kinder Morgan's TransMountain pipeline.
- Jeffrey Simpson: Why the Energy East pipeline will be a key test for Liberals
- Enbridge says it will meet regulatory deadlines for Northern Gateway
- Province of B.C. formally opposes Kinder Morgan expansion
- B.C. to oppose Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion: report
- B.C. government 'unable to support' Trans Mountain pipeline expansion
- Editorial: Kinder Morgan has work to do to convince British Columbians on pipeline expansion
Disagreement continued over the federal government's decision to stop enforcing the First Nations Financial Transparency Act while First Nation leaders in Ontario and the Maritimes expressed optimism for First Nation economic development.
- Editorial: Reinstate transparency act governing First Nations councils
- Local politicians respond to Financial Transparency Act
- Aboriginal businesses can thrive if we provide the right incentives
- Native fishery initiative needs permanent funding
On its 20th anniversary, the Gustafsen Lake standoff was in the news.
Despite hope to the contrary, the federal government appears determined to continue to fight Newfoundland residential school survivors in court.
Opposition to the Site C dam continued to build.
- David Suzuki, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip to visit Site C dam protesters
- Opinion: Why First Nations oppose Site C
- Site C campers settle in, but what happens next is anyone's guess (with video)
Saskatchewan's enforcement of provincial hunting law against Indigenous people continued to make the news.
- Manitoba grand chief wants meeting with Saskatchewan premier over hunting rights
- Doug Cuthand: Wall plays politics on First Nations issues
United States environmental groups criticized logging practices in eastern Canada.
From the Courts
The British Columbia Supreme Court ruled the province unlawfully relied on the National Energy Board's review of Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline project.
- Coastal First Nations v. British Columbia (Environment), 2016 BCSC 34
- Les Leyne: B.C. avoided consulting First Nations
- Ruling could affect more than Northern Gateway
- Northern Gateway assessment mishandled by B.C. government: judge
- B.C. government failed to properly consult First Nations on pipeline, court rules
The British Columbia provincial government filed its response in the Secwepemc Aboriginal title claim to the Ajax Mine site.
The application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of the Chippewas of Thames River First Nation decision was again in the news.
As the Descheneaux appeal continues to move forward at the Quebec Court of Appeal, here's a very useful explanation of how the Indian Act registration provisions continue to disenfranchise individuals (thanks to Dionne Schulze with the permission of the Grand conseil de la nation Conseil de la Nation Waban-Aki).
Quote of the Week
“If built, Site C will render First Nations’ rights guaranteed under Treaty 8 irrelevant to the point of mockery."
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and Dr. David Suzuki
"Unless the philosophy of government toward Native people changes dramatically, for some the hydro era may indeed come to represent the twilight of Native rights in Canada."
James B. Waldram, As Long as the Rivers Run: Hydroelectric Development and Native Communities in Western Canada (1988)
My Two Bits
Remedies in duty to consult cases (audio file).
Bruce McIvor, lawyer and historian, is principal of First Peoples Law Corporation.
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