B.C. won’t appeal landmark First Nation court victory, B.C. Supreme Court found approval of energy projects in Treaty 8 territory is ‘death by a thousand cuts’ by Andrew Kurjata, July 28, 2021, CBC News
The B.C. government says it will not be appealing a landmark court case that found unchecked industrial development in northeastern B.C. violates the treaty rights of the Blueberry River First Nation.
The judgment issued June 29 by B.C. Supreme Court justice Emily Burke sided with the First Nation which had argued that the constant approval of new energy projects in the region infringed on treaty rights meant to protect its way of life.
Burke characterized it as “death by a thousand cuts.”
At a media event in July, Blueberry River Chief Marvin Yahey was joined by other Treaty 8 First Nations leaders in Vancouver, where they urged the province not to appeal the case as a show of its commitment to reconciliation and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.
Instead, Yahey said First Nations in northeastern B.C. should be partners in the economic development of the region.
“If this is done right, there’s plenty of work for everyone,” Yahey said.
In a statement released Wednesday, Attorney General David Eby said the province would be following that advice.
“The court’s decision was clear that the Province must improve its assessment and management of the cumulative impact of industrial development on Blueberry River First Nations’ Treaty rights, and to ensure these constitutional rights are protected,” he said in the statement.
“The Province recognizes that negotiation, rather than litigation, is the primary forum for achieving reconciliation and the renewal of the Crown-Indigenous relationship.”
Eby said the province has reached out to Blueberry River in order to start negotiations on how to move forward.
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Will Horgan gov’t appeal Blueberry River First Nations cumulative impacts win? I think BC’s NDP will, they’ve proven they don’t give a damn about mitigating or reducing harms by the oil and gas industry, including site C dam. Wonderful to be wrong.
Incredible Cumulative Impacts victory for Blueberry River First Nations: Yahey v. British Columbia. Will Horgan’s NDP appeal to let industry’s rapes continue another decade or more, notably with how slow the Supreme Court of Canada’s process is?
Looking to the lying Supreme Court of Canada *is* an impossible choice in our oil-patch-raped-and-polluted country, but there is no other choice. Thank you Beaver Lake Cree Nation, for making it. Many of our top court judges were put there by Steve Harper, oil patch lover and Charter hater.
BC Tap Water Alliance Press Release: Blueberry River First Nations vs Govt BC Trial Evidence Says: 91 percent of Blueberry territory lands are within 500 m of an industrial disturbance, primarily oil and gas.
Specific Claims Tribunal found Canadian government breached its obligations to First Nations when it botched a 1948 land swap. Blueberry & Doig First Nations win “75-year-old legal battle” over access to oil & gas beneath their reserves
2015: Chief Marvin Yahey and Blueberry River First Nations files lawsuit against British Columbia Government, Believed to be first case based on cumulative impact of numerous developments, including hydraulic fracturing