Supreme Court Decision provides more clarity regarding Aboriginal consent for/veto over projects

Nov 06 05:11 2017 Print This Article

On November 2, the Supreme Court of Canada released its Ktunaxa vs. British Columbia decision denying the Ktunaxa Nation’s appeal of two BC court decisions.

We sought—and obtained—intervener status in this case because of the implications it could have for  future economic development projects throughout Canada. There are Aboriginal spiritual rights claims throughout Canada that may be affected by economic development projects and we advocated an approach that appropriately balances the rights of all affected parties—including businesses and their investors—when such projects are assessed and regulated.

In 2012, BC’s Minister of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations approved a Master Development Agreement (MDA) granting Glacier Resorts permission to build a ski resort on Crown land in the Jumbo Valley. The MDA followed two decades of negotiations and regulatory reviews/approvals which included significant consultation with potentially affected First Nations communities, including the Ktunaxa Nation Council. It was also the last in a series of approvals issued by the BC government for this project, which were not challenged by the Ktunaxa Council.

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