Category: Aboriginal Law

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Viewpoint: 5 (More) Things You Should Know about the Proposed B.C. Environmental Assessment Act

November 23, 2018

Recently, Blakes Partner Sam Adkins and I commented on the Indigenous aspects of Bill 51, the proposed legislation to replace B.C.’s current Environmental Assessment Act (BCEAA). For more information, please see our November 2018 Blakes Bulletin: Government of British Columbia Introduces Indigenous Consent Requirement for Major Projects.   If you’re considering a project in B.C., here are five more things you…

Government of British Columbia Introduces Indigenous Consent Requirement for Major Projects

November 14, 2018

On November 5, 2018, the B.C. government introduced Bill 51 – 2018: Environmental Assessment Act (Bill 51), which looks to replace the province’s current Environmental Assessment Act. Bill 51 proposes a dramatic shift in the project approval process in B.C. that, if passed, would create consent-based participation rights for Indigenous peoples.  BACKGROUND On March 7, 2018, the B.C. government announced…

Alberta Revises Internal Procedures for Addressing First Nations and Métis Settlement Consultation

November 12, 2018

On October 31, 2018, the Alberta Aboriginal Consultation Office (ACO) and the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) released revised Joint Operating Procedures for First Nations and Métis Settlement Consultation on Energy Resource Activities (Procedures). These Procedures address coordination of activities between the ACO and AER concerning consultation with First Nations and on Métis Settlements. For more information on the Procedures please…

Supreme Court of Canada Rules Duty to Consult Does Not Apply to the Law-Making Process

October 15, 2018

The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) determined that Ministers of the Crown have no duty to consult Aboriginal Peoples in the development of legislation, in its October 11, 2018 decision in Mikisew Cree First Nation v. Canada (Governor General in Council) (Mikisew). However, the majority of the SCC held that declaratory relief could be available where aboriginal or treaty rights…

B.C. Restricts Oil and Gas Developments in Blueberry River First Nation Territory

July 27, 2018

The British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) recently announced new interim measures for oil and gas developments in Blueberry River First Nation (BRFN) traditional territory. The interim measures address concerns raised by BRFN with respect to new oil and gas development activities by prohibiting or restricting new surface disturbance in defined critical areas of BRFN territory, while managing development…

Bill Backing UNDRIP Heads to Senate, Moves One Step Closer to Becoming Law in Canada

June 11, 2018

In February 2018, we suggested that the Canadian government may be inching towards the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) with their new draft environmental legislation (see our February 2018 Blakes Bulletin: Implementing UNDRIP? Federal Government Releases Draft Environmental Legislation). The pace seems to have sped up since then, at least for the time being. Bill…

Court Confirms Power of Alberta Aboriginal Consultation Office to Decide Who Gets Consulted

April 23, 2018

The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench (Court) provided much-needed clarity about the role of the Alberta Aboriginal Consultation Office (ACO) and the duty to consult in Alberta in its decision in Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation v. Alberta (ACFN Decision). The ACFN Decision is one of a series of recent judicial review decisions that stem from questions about the role of…

Modern Treaty Rights Prevail Over Duty to Consult First Nations Asserting Aboriginal Rights

April 9, 2018

What happens when a First Nation asserts aboriginal rights or title that conflict with another First Nation’s rights under a modern treaty? In its recent decision, Gamlaxyeltxw v. British Columbia (Minister of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations), the British Columbia Supreme Court (Court) ruled that in these circumstances, the “treaty right must prevail over the duty to consult [the…

Blakes Annual Aboriginal Law Update

February 14, 2018

Aboriginal issues continue to influence business decisions and government policies in energy, mining, infrastructure and other industries. Understanding recent legal developments and current trends is critical to implementing successful business strategies. This seminar discusses the current state of aboriginal law and its impact on your business. Topics Best practices in doing business with Aboriginal Peoples Key court decisions from 2017…

B.C. Court Decision Provides Example of the State of Indigenous Law in Canada

February 13, 2018

Court decisions can often provide learning opportunities — they establish legal principles, apply those principles to certain facts, and illustrate relative trends, or stability, in the law. The recent decision of the B.C. Supreme Court in Fort Nelson First Nation v. B.C. Oil and Gas Commission (Fort Nelson) provides a number of learning opportunities. It offers another data point on…

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