Since then much has been written on whether the decision would
have an adverse impact on natural and infrastructure development
across Canada, with some columnists and think tanks being alarmed at the consequences
the decision may have on projects.
In Quebec, the decision has been taken in stride by government
and business. It is now generally accepted in Quebec that natural
resource and infrastructure development requires local acceptance,
particularly north of the 49th parallel in the territory covered by
the Plan Nord. As such, Quebec is emphasizing consensus building
and, in the final analysis, a sharing of the benefits of
In this light it is expected that the Tsilhqot'in
decision will have the following limited consequences in
Claim Expansion: The Tsilhqot'in
case clarifies the criteria for recognition of aboriginal title
over an area. These criteria are more culturally sensitive and
better reflect the manner in which territory was historically
occupied by First Nations. As a result it is expected that claims
will cover larger areas, including submerged lands and maritime
areas (see for example the recent statements made by First Nations
in Halifax over Gulf of Saint Lawrence areas, including the Old
Harry offshore oil area).
Stronger Duty to Consult and Accommodate. The
Supreme Court previously held that the duty to consult and
accommodate First Nations interests on land over which aboriginal
title or rights are claimed increases or decreases depending on the
strength of the claim. The more serious the claim, the more onerous
is the duty to consult and accommodate. The
Tsilhqot'in decision should strengthen many claims and
as such impose on governments a stronger duty to consult and
More Comprehensive Territorial Agreements: In
previous decisions the Supreme Court placed the burden of
negotiating comprehensive treaties and territorial agreements on
governments. At this time Quebec has comprehensive territorial
agreements with the Crees, Quebec's largest First Nation. Three
Innu First Nations are currently negotiating with Quebec, the
Mashteuiatsh, the Essipit and the Natashquan. Quebec hopes that
others will follow. Quebec views these agreements favourably as
they appear to have been generally
beneficial for all concerned.
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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