Top court finds province of Ontario, not First Nation or federal government, has jurisdiction over logging

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled today in favour of the Ontario government's right to permit industrial logging on a First Nation's traditional lands.

Friday's 7-0 decision comes on the heels of a historic judgment in the Tsilhqot'in case in British Columbia that changed the way governments must deal with First Nations over land where aboriginal title is claimed.

The top court ruling comes after the province decided to issue a logging licence on land Grassy Narrows considers its traditional territory. The First Nation worried about the adverse effects of clear-cutting on hunting, trapping and drinking water quality.

The main issue was whether provincial authority applies on these particular treaty lands. According to the Constitution of 1867, the federal government has exclusive authority over "Indians and lands reserved for Indians."

But Treaty 3 allowed for the "taking up" of lands for mining, towns and forestry among other things. Municipalities and natural resources are the responsibility of the provincial government under the Constitution.


Grassy Narrows loses Supreme Court logging rights decision - Politics - CBC News