Where we stand: Ontario, Canada and Aboriginal Lawhttp://www.lawsonlundell.com/resources/TheCrownsDuty.pdf 2005: Recent case law from the Supreme Court of Canada (Haida and Taku) has confirmed that the Crown has a duty to consult, and if necessary, accommodate Aboriginal interests when it has knowledge, real or constructive, of the potential existence of an Aboriginal right or title and contemplates conduct that might adversely affect it. Subsequent decisions of lower courts have begun to fill in the general framework outlined by the Supreme Court of Canada. The Supreme Court is clear that the province and the federal governments are both responsible for consulting on land use where they are responsible. Since then the Supreme Court has reversed the sale of a golf course by the BC government, and prevented the sale of buildings by the Federal government, because both failed to consult with the Musqueam whose traditional land it was. Ontario is very aware of this issue and is hiding and ducking responsibility as long as it can, leaving the municipalities and developers hanging out to dry! However, Michael Bryant is starting to begin to maybe think about looking at possibly considering talking about doing something about Ontario's Crown "Duty to Consult". http://www.saultstar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=939490 (Ontario Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Michael) Bryant said the province is set to begin talking about resources with Batchewana and other First Nations. "The government is committed to resource benefit sharing and obviously looks forward to beginning those discussion," he said. "How exactly that's going to take place in the province and within particular regions of the province, we're still talking with everybody about that." Sayers pushed the province to open those discussions in January when he appeared before a prebudget consultation panel. He told the panel that Ontario has inherited the Crown's duty to help aboriginal people benefit from development on their land - an obligation he says was intended under the pre-Confederation Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850. Bryant, the province's first stand-alone aboriginal affairs minister, pledged during a speech in November to the Anishinabek Nation's Grand Assembly to seek practical solutions to the issues that disturb Ontario's relationship with First Nations. That is the issue: Negotiating a say in development and a share in revenues on their traditional land, as the Six Nations Confederacy says, and that is Ontario's responsibility. What happened today, the 'summit' in Brantford is not strictly about the feds or land claims: It is about Ontario and land rights and land use and the Supreme Court and the Constitution and DUTY TO CONSULT on use of traditional Aboriginal land, while federal land claims are in process. It is what all five blockades in the province are truly about: The construction and destruction happening to the land while the land claims are 'in progress'. And that is Ontario's responsibility, and the Municipalities, as entities of the province. http://www.allbusiness.com/north-america/canada/908232-1.html Municipal Duty to Consult with Aboriginals By Saxe, Dianne Publication: Municipal World Date: Friday, July 1 2005 According to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Policy Statement on Municipal-Aboriginal Relations, "Municipal leaders understand the importance of addressing the challenges faced by Aboriginal peoples ... FCM supports the right to Aboriginal self-government... [and] believes that the realization of self-government should evolve through negotiations with other governments, including municipal, against a backdrop of positive and active community relations." ... For example, last year the City of Vaughan, Ontario was charged with failing to conduct a proper environmental assessment. The city had allegedly failed to consuit with First Nations regarding a proposed road widening and extension within a municipal road allowance. The road widening would pave an area containing sixteenth-century artifacts. The province and the municipalities can stall and fluster and bluster "I didn't get the memo" or whatever, but the truth still is that ignorance of the law is no excuse. And besides ... they do know. They are just playing political games, pass the hot potato. Not ONE of our politicians sincerely offers to settle all the Aboriginal and Treaty Rights issues in a reasonable, global way. They just chew away at little bits of land at a time, wasting our money and time ... wasting our lives away while they aspire to careers that do not involve EVER having to address this ... reasonably, and quickly. And that is wrong of course, but it will just continue unless acted upon by another force ... people ... telling them to STOP DEVELOPMENT ON DISPUTED LAND ... NOW! The Province of Ontario, Michael Bryant, must consult with Haudenosaunee Six Nations about all developments in the Haldimand Tract ... a say in development, a share in revenues ... now ... reasonably. And Dalton McGuinty can stop his flusterblustering and just friggen OBEY THE LAW!!!
It's not rocket science. We are simple people. We expect our politicians - who masquerade as governance between elections - at a BARE minimum, we expect them to implement the laws of Canada ... AND NOW WOULD BE GOOD!