It’s a decision that could impact resource projects around the country. The Supreme Court justices ruled overwhelmingly in favour of giving the Tsilhqot’in First Nation in title to land in the interior of British Columbia.
A lawyer, Larry Innes, who represents the Athabasca Chipewyan, a band downstream from the Fort McMurray region had this to say, “I can think of a few law firms that are probably redrafting their briefs right now.”
Another lawyer, Robert Janes, who represents some Alberta bands, said the ruling means to him that governments wanting major projects that could infringe on aboriginal land-use rights will have to change their approach, “it’s expected to be more rigorous than how it’s been approached in the past. Likewise, the duty to consult is not intended to be a polite chit-chat and do what you’re planning to do anyway.”
The Tory governments in both Alberta and Ottawa are already defending recent changes made in regulating energy development. Some of the court challenges centre around aboriginal involvement and the impact of resource development on treaty rights.
(Sources: CP/Energy Now)