HUPACASATH CLAIM VICTORY! BC SUPREME COURT RULES NEED FOR CONSULTATION
- Hupacasath First Nation
Port Alberni, BC
For Immediate Release
HUPACASATH CLAIM VICTORY!
BC SUPREME COURT RULES NEED FOR CONSULTATION
Today, Justice Lynn Smith of the BC Supreme Court ruled that "the Crown had
a duty to consult with the Hupacasath regarding the removal of the land from
TFL 44, and regarding the consequences of the removal of that land on the
remaining (Crown land) portion of TFL 44. The court declared that making
the removal decision on July 9, 2004 without consultation was inconsistent
with the honour of the Crown in right of British Columbia in its dealings
with the Hupacasath First Nation.
The Hupacasath have consistently maintained the right to be consulted
because of the many rights exercised on the removed private lands and the
fact that we have always had access to those lands and were extensively
consulted on the lands for many years. "Today, is a victory, not just for
the Hupacasath, but for our Forests, and all that grows and lives within
them. The Forests are our Cathedrals and we hope through the consultation
process that the court has ordered that we will be able to protect that
which is most sacred and precious to us" said Chief Councillor Judith
Sayers. "the 70,000 hectares of lands that were removed is almost one third
of our territory and the impacts of that removal of the land from the TFL is
immense on our rights and our title"
The court refused to quash the Minister's decision removing the lands from
the TFL and the Hupacasath express deep disappointment with that ruling
that "substantial prejudice" to third parties is more important than
constitutionally protected rights and title. The court states "that
meaningful remedy can be granted pending the completion of consultation."
The court has ordered the Crown to set up a government to government
consultation process with Hupacasath so that their interests can be
addressed and sets out 9 conditions that Brascan must fulfill in the
interim. The court has also order mediation or directions from the court if
the parties cannot agree on the process or the consultation.
For Interviews Contact
Judith Sayers at
or 724-4041 ext. 1
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