My Canada includes rights of Indigenous Peoples. Love it or leave it! Peace.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
B.C. First Nations win two court rulings over consultation and accommodation
VANCOUVER _ Some aboriginal groups in British Columbia scored two major victories Wednesday as the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled they must be consulted before projects are undertaken.
The first ruling involves an appeal by the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council over a 2007 electricity purchase agreement between B.C. Hydro and Alcan in northwestern B.C.
The court ruled that the B.C. Utilities Commission and BC Hydro failed to properly consult the First Nations.
The power sales deal from Alcan´s Kemano facility was a condition set out by the company in order to proceed with a $2-billion upgrade.
In approving the deal, the commission had ruled that no such consultations with the Carrier Sekani were necessary.
The second case involved some First Nations in the southcentral Interior who said they were not properly consulted on a plan by BC Hydro and the BC Transmission Corp., to build a $700 million high-voltage transmission line from the Interior to the Greater Vancouver area.
The court ruled in the Alcan case that it was an example of what was "foreseen by the Supreme Court of Canada in Haida Nation versus B.C. where the broad principles of the Crown´s duty to consult and, if necessary, accommodate aboriginal interests are to be applied to a concrete set of circumstances."
In the Alcan ruling, the judges ruled that consultation arises in relation to BC Hydro´s decision to buy electricity from Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. that is surplus to its smelter requirements.
The Carrier Sekani said the diversion of water for Alcan´s use infringes on its rights and title and that no consultation ever took place.
In its unanimous decision, the judges ordered the utilities commission to reconsider the issue.
In the second case, the court found that the decision to certify a new transmission line . . . "has the potential to profoundly affect the appellants´ aboriginal interests."
"Like the existing line (installed without consent or consultation), the new line will pass over land to which the appellants claim stewardship rights and aboriginal title."
The judge, also in a unanimous decision, said "if consultation is to be meaningful, it must take place when the project is being considered and continue until the process is completed."The court ordered the commission to suspend its decision and have a new hearing.
My Canada includes rights of Indigenous Peoples. LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT! Peace.
Two Row Wampum Treaty
"It is said that, each nation shall stay in their own vessels, and travel the river side by side. Further, it is said, that neither nation will try to steer the vessel of the other." This is a treaty among Indigenous Nations, and with Canada. This is the true nature of our relationships with Indigenous Nations of 'Kanata'.