Appeal Court Sets the Cat Among the Pigeons


bill barilko
#1
This is Much Bigger News than many people know or understand-a real game changer

B.C. First Nations can sue over property rights, court rules
Appeal court allows lawsuits without previous proof of land rights in 'significant' decision


The Nechako river, in the heart of the nation's traditional territory, was severely affected when the Kenney dam was built to power Rio Tinto's smelter in Kitimat

Industrial giants, from forestry companies to mining operations, must respect aboriginal territorial claims in British Columbia just as they would heed the rights of any other Canadian landowner, the province's highest court has ruled.

A decision from the B.C. Court of Appeal paves the way for First Nations to launch lawsuits to protect their territory from private parties, even without proving aboriginal title. Two northwestern First Nations expressed vindication on Wednesday after a panel of three judges overturned a lower court ruling that denied them opportunity to sue the aluminum producer Rio Tinto Alcan.

The Saik'uz and Stellat'en First Nations, based downstream of the company's Kenney hydroelectric dam and reservoir, were refused a trial on the premise that aboriginals must first establish their title. Their initial suit was mounted in September 2011.

The nations contend the dam, in operation since the 1950s, causes nuisance and breaches their rights to the natural waterway that runs through their land. They're seeking damages for property-rights violations, alleging the electricity generator has harmed the Nechako River system and its fisheries.

Equality before the law

The decision means they can now take their claims to trial.

"We are pleased that the Court of Appeal recognized that First Nations' aboriginal title exists, prior to proof in court or treaties with government," Stellat'en Chief Archie Patrick said in a news release.

He said the decision grants Aboriginal Peoples the same private-law protections as other individual landowners.

"Our peoples are determined to continue to seek justice for our rights and the Nechako River," he said.

The Kenney dam provides water for Rio Tinto's power generation facility that's used by its aluminum smelter located in Kitimat.

Rio Tinto Alcan has 60 days to apply for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. A spokesman said the company is reviewing the decision.

A 'significant' decision

The judge who wrote the decision said that the law is clear that aboriginal rights "do exist prior to declaration or recognition."

Justice David Tysoe wrote that setting a separate standard for aboriginal people, before they can sue other parties to enforce their rights, is arguably inconsistent with the charter right to equality.

"Aboriginal people are part of Canada's community, and they should not be treated disadvantageously in comparison to any other litigant asserting claims...," he wrote.

Lawyer Gregory McDade, who represents the two First Nations, said there's been no previous case law on aboriginal title and called the decision significant.

"I would put it on the level of the Haida decision and the Tsilhqot'in decision in terms of moving the law forward so that aboriginal rights are recognized like other Canadian legal rights."

The Haida ruling, in 2004, established that Crown has a duty to consult with First Nations regarding land use. The more-recent Tsilhqot'in decision is a landmark ruling in which the Supreme Court of Canada recognized aboriginal title to a specific tract of land for the first time in the country's history.

That decision, last June, concluded a 25-year-long legal battle.
 
Cliffy
Free Thinker
#2
What most Canadians do not understand is that there are next to no treaties in BC and that the Indigenous people are still hold legal title to most of BC.The territories of all nations were mapped out in the late 1800s and early 1900s by anthropologists and ethnographers. There should be no didpute over which nation occupied which tract of land. The BC government has been trying to play tribes against tribes to squabble over territorial claims to confuse the issue because contested territory is excluded in recent land claims settlements. Most BC nations have opted out of the treaty process because of the government's underhanded procedures.

As far as I know, the land settlement issue was supposed to be settled before BC became part of confederation. The government of the day decided that rounding up all those pesky injuns and putting them on reserves was settling the land claims issue by claiming it belonged to the government of BC. But that is not what was meant by the terms of reference. As far as I can tell, BC is an illegal province and has no right whatever to allow resource extraction and collect all the revenue on Indian land. This is one messed up situation and will cause all kinds of headaches for Canada and Big Business unless BC comes to terms with the indigenous peoples.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

What most Canadians do not understand is that there are next to no treaties in BC and that the Indigenous people are still hold legal title to most of BC.

Legal title, hunh? Under what law, exactly?
 
tay
#4
If Canada signs on to the TPP all these agreements will mean nothing........






The Investment Chapter highlights the intent of the TPP negotiating parties, led by the United States, to increase the power of global corporations by creating a supra-national court, or tribunal, where foreign firms can "sue" states and obtain taxpayer compensation for "expected future profits". These investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunals are designed to overrule the national court systems. ISDS tribunals introduce a mechanism by which multinational corporations can force governments to pay compensation if the tribunal states that a country's laws or policies affect the company's claimed future profits.


https://wikileaks.org/tpp-investment/press.html











 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#5  Top Rated Post
OK, that's a MHz level of crazy.
 
MHz
#6
Hate to be the bearer of bad news but 'crazy' means reading something again if it isn't crystal clear the first time. As it is the post just above your comment was perfectly clear on the first read. No morality in it but clear none the less.
Both PM Martin and PM Harper said the same thing at their NAFTA meetings in Mexico. Corporations, International Corporations would be the ones guiding the path the 'elected' Government would listen to as far as what direction the economy took. This is a take off on that but it concerns a different phase, getting kicked out rather than getting permission to move into a contested area.

In short, let the 'locals' win and shut down a 'aging facility' that is at it's end of use cycle and that opens the door for the Corporation to claim a retro would have made the place useful for another 50 years (when no industry will be around to need that level of electricity) at the current rate and higher as they predict. They would win and the 'locals' would foot the bill, a very big bill. Normally a default would happen and in this case the locals are on a Rez so the wheat farmers of the Prairies will 'pay the bill without question.
Nothing 'eerie' about that.

This would be the 'erie' part. The 'Canadians' that qualify as 'locals' team up with other 'Canadians on Reservations' band together and take their case to the ICC where flesh and bone still trumps Corporations. The win there would be for damages done to 'their land' as 'their permission' was never given originally and any harm or theft (such as money the place made and left the area instead of staying with the 'locals') The slime of the current practices would start to show up then, such as treason to the taxpayer for not taking the proper steps and the 'fines' are a 'needless expense' of the 'elected citizens' who claim to be professionals while doing a very shoddy job of protecting the 'taxpayers' (their bosses).
The ICC might have to make each 'local resident' and 'tax-payer' it's own Corporation number and then you have many small corporations suing a larger Corporation and Commercial Law is a whole different room from Civil Law.

A comment on the 'crazy' part. Not a fact so this is an 'if thing'. If somebody like Edgar Casey didn't follow the path he did and entered into Wall St (and banking) or Politics and made full use of his 'talents' what would the time have been like compared to him taking lots of naps and taking on 'minor issues' that were done. I think he quit for awhile as others were using his tips so the talent seems to be there but he didn't make use of it at all, that part is factual.

The 'locals' could use 1950 as being a time they should have had the protection of UN Human rights for Children covering them if the Corporations were the 'adults' in the room at that time. Older brother doesn't have any rights over their little brother.

On the bright side a baby would get a corporate name at birth rather than a civil name. I want to meet the one that get the 'little blue train' name.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#7
Couldn't be bothered, but I encourage you to keep trying.
 
MHz
#8
For the learning impaired.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3RYTsz0EmU
 
Cliffy
Free Thinker
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by Tecumsehsbones View Post

Legal title, hunh? Under what law, exactly?

Poor choice of words. BC is still Indian land (for the most part). There were no battles and no settlements (treaties) so what gives the Crown right to claim it as Crown? Who gave the right to sell Fee Simple title to land that was not theirs to sell? Under what law does the Crown have right to sell off natural resources on land they never owned? BC is a fiction, a lie, a hoax of epic proportions. BC got into confederation under false pretenses and continues to exist under those false pretenses.
 
petros
#10
None? Zero? Zip?

When did Dene and Assiniboine get paid from Cree and Ojib?

Come on Cliffy please explain how Cree and Ojib had rights to the Prairie while the Dene, Assiniboine and Chips were pushed into the bush?

How much are the Dene, Chips and Assiniboine owed from US govt for the Nakotah, Dakotah and Lakotah taking "their land"?
 
Tecumsehsbones
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

Poor choice of words.

D'accord.

Quote:

BC is still Indian land (for the most part). There were no battles and no settlements (treaties) so what gives the Crown right to claim it as Crown?

The right of might. Canon law, as in "he who has the cannon makes the law."

Quote:

Who gave the right to sell Fee Simple title to land that was not theirs to sell? Under what law does the Crown have right to sell off natural resources on land they never owned? BC is a fiction, a lie, a hoax of epic proportions. BC got into confederation under false pretenses and continues to exist under those false pretenses.

And your position will never, ever prevail, and you know it.

Really, it's that simple.

I think you would do better to spend your time advocating for improvements in the conditions of the FNs, whatever you define as such "improvements." And maybe you do. But the simple reality is that the non-FN population of BC isn't going to pack up and "go back where they came from," particularly as most of them "came from" BC.
 
petros
#12
BC holds Crown land not the Feds. If you can sue, you can be sued, liability comes with the big prize. NEB can now push pipe wherever the hell they choose in BC. You won Cliffy. A victory worthy of big celebration.
 
Cliffy
Free Thinker
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Tecumsehsbones View Post

D'accord.


The right of might. Canon law, as in "he who has the cannon makes the law."


And your position will never, ever prevail, and you know it.

Really, it's that simple.

I think you would do better to spend your time advocating for improvements in the conditions of the FNs, whatever you define as such "improvements." And maybe you do. But the simple reality is that the non-FN population of BC isn't going to pack up and "go back where they came from," particularly as most of them "came from" BC.

Ya, I know it. That is just my opinion. And, like me, most did come from somewhere else. I came from Quebec and I have met very few BCers who were actually born in BC. The majority around these parts came from Alberta looking for cheep land because the oil boom over there drove real estate prices sky high. They in turn raised our real estate so high, many old families had to move away.
 
petros
+1
#14
They bought into a depressed region and turned into into their playground. Same thing happened to Kelowna with people from Vancouver blowing their fish and tree money in a depressed region. Your jaded ideals are waaaaaaay out there.

People from Winnipeg used their grain money to gobble up depressed north western Ontario and the Shores of lake Winnipeg. SK folks took their potash money and scooped up depressed regions around PA and LaRonge.

Get with reality.
 
taxslave
Free Thinker
+1
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

Poor choice of words. BC is still Indian land (for the most part). There were no battles and no settlements (treaties) so what gives the Crown right to claim it as Crown? Who gave the right to sell Fee Simple title to land that was not theirs to sell? Under what law does the Crown have right to sell off natural resources on land they never owned? BC is a fiction, a lie, a hoax of epic proportions. BC got into confederation under false pretenses and continues to exist under those false pretenses.

What gives natives any more right to the land than anyone else? They got a title or just a story from grandpa. IF Canada is to be a democracy then no one can have special rights based on skin color.
Native rights is just a money machine for lawyers with nothing constructive to do with their time.
 
Cliffy
Free Thinker
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslave View Post

What gives natives any more right to the land than anyone else? They got a title or just a story from grandpa. IF Canada is to be a democracy then no one can have special rights based on skin color.
Native rights is just a money machine for lawyers with nothing constructive to do with their time.

What gives "whites" more rights to land and resources than indigenous peoples? Pretty soon, "whites" are going to be out numbered in this country and they will get treated just the way they treat those minorities they look down on. Democracy is the tyranny of the majority.
 
petros
#17
Anybody can buy land. It's 100% equal.