The Beaver Lake Cree Nation (BLCN) brought a Statement of Claim
before the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench alleging that the
Alberta and federal governments have failed to adequately discharge
their duty to consult in issuing 19,000 authorizations for 300
projects related to oil sands development in Alberta. The BLCN
argues that the cumulative effects of the 300 projects have
hindered or prevented the BLCN from exercising its treaty rights.
The BLCN alleges that by failing to consider cumulative effects
during the approval process, the governments have not satisfied
their duty to consult. The governments made a motion before the
Alberta Court of Appeal to strike out portions of the Statement of
Claim; however, on April 30, 2013, the Court of Appeal ruled
against the governments' motion and, in doing so, found
that the BLCN Statement of Claim gives rise to grounds for
The outcome of this trial may have a significant impact on
resource development in Alberta if the Court of Queen's
Bench requires these governments to consider the cumulative effects
for all oil sands projects in order to adequately discharge their
duty to consult.
British Columbia:Dene Tha'
First Nation v. British Columbia, 2013 BCSC
On June 3, 2013, the British Columbia Supreme Court (BCSC)
released its decision dismissing the petition of the Dene
Tha' First Nation to review a decision by the British
Columbia government to dispose of 21 parcels of subsurface oil and
gas tenures. The Dena Tha', an Alberta First Nation and
Treaty 8 signatory, alleged that the government had breached its
duty to consult with and accommodate the Dene Tha' in
relation to potential adverse impacts from the parcel sales. As a
result of this failure to consult and accommodate, the Dena
Tha' sought to have the parcel sales set aside. In deciding
that the Crown engaged in a reasonable process of consultation, the
Court emphasized that the consultation process was ongoing and
likely to broaden as development of the tenures proceeded. The
Court found that the Crown had adequately considered the rights of
the Dene Tha', while recognizing and respecting the rights
of the broader community.
This case is significant in the context of resource development
because it emphasizes that the assessment of the duty to consult at
the pre-tenure stage is confined to ensuring that appropriate
processes are in place to provide for adequate consultation in the
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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