Justices Dawson and Stratas, writing for the majority, found
that the federal government failed in its constitutional duty to
consult Aboriginal peoples before the Governor in Council directed
the NEB to issue the Certificates. The court found that the federal
government offered only a "brief, hurried and inadequate"
opportunity to exchange and discuss information and dialogue after
the Report of the Joint Review Panel was issued
prior to the Governor in Council's decision.
The court ordered that the decision be remitted back to the
Governor in Council for redetermination, and that new Certificates
not be issued on such redetermination until the federal government
fulfills its duty to consult with Aboriginal peoples. The court
advised that the required consultation remaining "need not
take long" if it is "well-organized and
Whether or not the current federal government will undertake
such a process is uncertain. The Globe and Mail reported that Prime Minister
Trudeau is "[opposed] to running an oil pipeline through
British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest – which is the
route proposed for Northern Gateway – and has promised to
impose a ban on crude tanker traffic in coastal waters that would
provide access to the proposed export terminal in Kitimat,
Justice Ryer dissented from the majority's decision on the
basis that Canada did fulfil its duty to consult in the
circumstances of the case.
Northern Gateway has until August 22, 2016 to apply for leave to
appeal to the Supreme Court of Cananda. However, on June 30, 2016,
in a press release responding to the judgment, Northern Gateway
gave no indication of its intention to appeal the decision.
Instead, Northern Gateway expressed its commitment to building the
pipeline while at the same time "protecting the environment
and the traditional way of life of First Nations and Métis
peoples and communities along the project route." As mentioned
previous post, Northern Gateway was already in the process of
requesting a three-year extension of the original Certificates from
the NEB, which were set to expire on December 31, 2016.
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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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