In this case, the Yukon Supreme Court determined that the Crown
breached its duty to consult the White River First Nation (First
Nation) by failing to give the First Nation an opportunity to
respond to the Crown's decision to reject a recommendation that
a mining project not proceed due to impacts on a caribou herd.
Tarsis Resources Ltd. (Tarsis), an early stage exploration
company, applied for a five-year Class III Mining Land Use Approval
Permit for the White River– Quartz Exploration Project in the
Yukon. Tarsis' proposed activities under the permit included
the use of heavy machinery, drilling, clearing, trenching, and
ongoing reclamation and decommissioning activities.
Under the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment
Act (Act), the proposed exploration activities were required
to undergo an environmental assessment (Assessment). The Assessment
in this case — a comprehensive 79-page document —
recommended that the project not be permitted to proceed as it
would have significant adverse effects on wildlife, wildlife
habitat, and traditional land use and culture that could not be
mitigated. Aft er receiving the negative Assessment, the Director
of Mineral Resources (Director) recommended that Tarsis'
applications proceed to the regulatory approval stage.
The Court determined that the Director's duty to consult and
accommodate the First Nation was at the more stringent end of the
spectrum, requiring "deep consultation" because, among
other things, the Crown was contemplating a decision that was
"completely at odds" with a recommendation rendered after
an in-depth consultation process. The First Nation should have been
given the opportunity to respond to the data that was used to
reject the Assessment. Having breached the duty to consult and
accommodate, the Court quashed the Director's decision and
ordered that there be further "deep consultation."
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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