First Nations challenge of Site C dam dismissed in Federal Court

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OTTAWA – The Prophet River First Nations and West Moberly First Nations have come up short in an appeal against the Site C dam.

Federal Court of Appeal Justice Richard Boivin issued his ruling today in Ottawa after the case was originally heard in Montreal last year. He dismissed the appeal with costs and said that “the intervention of this court is not warranted”.

“Judicial review is not the proper forum to determine whether the appellants’ rights are unjustifiably infringed”.

The judge said an action would be the more appropriate course to determine the issue of infringement of the appellants’ treaty rights.

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The courts once again noted that the consultation process undertaken was consistent with the honour of the Crown and the concerns of Aboriginal groups were balanced with other interests.

The courts also noted that the appellants (First Nations) were required to share how their rights were being infringed.

“As part of the consultation process, the appellants therefore not only had the opportunity but the obligation to carry their end of the consultation process and provide information in support of their allegation that the Site C Project would infringe their specified treaty rights. Particularly, the appellants had the duty to provide information for the determination of their traditional territories and the scope of their treaty rights in order to demonstrate that the potential impact of the Site C Project was so severe so as to constitute infringement.

Here, the appellants did not provide adequate information to the JRP to support their allegations.”

A full copy of the ruling is below.

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