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HUPACASATH CLAIM VICTORY! BC SUPREME COURT RULES NEED FOR CONSULTATION

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    Hupacasath First Nation Port Alberni, BC For Immediate Release HUPACASATH CLAIM VICTORY! BC SUPREME COURT RULES NEED FOR CONSULTATION Today, Justice Lynn Smith
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 7, 2005
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      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
      (250) 720-9328
      or 724-4041 ext. 1


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