Canada: Signing Of A New Agreement Between Québec Government And Eeyou Istchee Cree Nation

The Québec Government and the Eeyou Istchee Cree Nation recently announced the signing of a new agreement which settles a longstanding dispute pending before the Québec courts, dealing with the Cree Nation's challenge to the management of forestry activities in Québec's North.

The dispute had significant implications, as it related to a wide range of issues, from the appropriateness of timber harvesting practices to the protection of the wood forest caribou, and had even resulted in Resolute Forest Product's loss of its Forestry Stewardship Council (the "FSC") certification.

In order to understand the significance of  this new Agreement, some historical perspective is in order.

Pursuant to the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement (the "JBNQA"), forestry activities fell within the ambit of Chapter 30A. A subsequent agreement, known as the "Paix des Braves", signed in 2002 between the Cree Nation and the Québec Government, sought to reinforce the political, economic and social relationships created by the JBNQA, while also stipulating a number of  particular measures to be taken to implement same. This Paix des Braves addressed certain specific sectors, such as hydroelectric development and forestry.

The so-called "Baril-Moses Agreement", signed at the same time and subsequently supplemented on February 23, 2005, dealt expressly with timber cutting rights and licences on Cree territory. It provided for the implementation of an adapted forestry management plan, whereby the existing provincial forestry regime would be more properly reflective of, and would take into account, Cree concerns related to the impact of forestry activities on traditional hunting, fishing and trapping activities.

The dispute resulted from the provincial government's alleged failure to abide by the  letter, if not the spirit, of the Baril-Moses Agreement. The Cree initiated court proceedings, seeking damages in excess of $13M, alleging that the provincial government and the forestry industry were carrying out their timber harvesting activities without any regard for the terms of the Baril-Moses Agreement.

The Cree, in this context, had also successfully challenged Resolute Forest Product's FSC certification with respect to its forestry operations in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region, on the basis that both Resolute and the provincial government, by essentially disregarding and\or violating the terms of the Baril-Moses Agreement, had failed to satisfy the FSC's Principle 3, which encompasses and upholds the interests of aboriginal or indigenous peoples. The Cree had satisfied the FSC auditors that the company's failure to honour the conditions pursuant to which the Cree had consented to the forestry operations on the Cree trap line had, in effect, voided their consent.

A crisis of sorts ensued, which eventually brought the parties to mediation before former Québec Premier Bouchard.

The newly signed and announced Agreement brings that litigation to an end and provides for the implementation of a more collaborative approach to the management of the forest in the territory concerned.

The Agreement seeks to harmonize the forestry activities with  traditional Cree hunting, fishing and trapping activities.

The Québec Government undertakes to honour the requirements of the Baril-Moses Agreement until such time as a Working Group, newly created pursuant to the Agreement and comprised of the Cree and Innu communities and provincial representatives, can jointly develop a set of forestry management standards. 

As evidence of the collaborative approach favoured by the Agreement, the Working Group will develop and propose forestry practices and standards which take into account the needs of the users of the territory involved, including the Cree communities of Mistissini and d'Ouje-Bougoum, and the lands of the Innus, with respect to hunting, fishing and trapping, with a view to ensuring the compatibility of those uses with modern forestry methods and, significantly, forestry certification.

Those standards will be developed, while taking into consideration such matters as development areas of particular interest for the Cree and Innus, preservation of forest cover in designated areas and other matters and various economic, environmental and social factors to be defined.

The Agreement stipulates that the Government will abide by the terms of the Baril-Moses Agreement until June 30, 2020, at which time the Working Group's recommendations are to be implemented and the adapted forest management plan amended accordingly. 

The Working Group is also tasked with proposing a process which will ensure that the development requirements evolve, taking into consideration the needs of the users and the communities, as well as advances in sustainable forest management.

Finally, the Agreement sets out a number of forest and biodiversity preservation measures. The Québec Government has agreed to designate a new protected and biodiversity reserve for the Broadback River area, covering some 9,134.81 square kilometers.

The provincial government has also re-asserted its commitment to re-establishing the habitat for the wood caribou in Québec and will work with all parties and experts on developing a plan to implement rapidly the measures required to achieve that goal.

While the announcement of the Agreement was generally well received, there were nonetheless certain dissenting voices, such as the Innus and a number of Cree communities who feel that its terms are not sufficiently reflective of their concerns.

This new Agreement is certainly welcome, in that it brings a measure of certainty into forestry activities, at a time when the industry, as a whole, has been reeling from significant negative market impacts. Successfully addressing the concerns of the dissenting communities will remain an important objective to ensure that this new Agreement attains its stated objectives.

About BLG

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions