Federal Court’s Trans Mountain Ruling Betrays Principles of Reconciliation

The decision found Trudeau government met the minimum legal requirements. For Indigenous peoples, that’s not enough.

Judith Sayers 5 Feb 2020 | Judith Sayers (Kekinusuqs) is from the Hupacasath First Nation in Port Alberni, B.C. She President of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and is an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria in Business and Environmental Studies.



The Federal Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold federal government approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is devastating for the First Nations that launched the legal challenge.

The nine nations argued they had not been consulted properly before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet approved the pipeline. The second attempt at consultation was the result of an earlier court decision rejecting a first round of consultations as flawed.

Rueben George of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation summed up the impact.

“Reconciliation stopped today,” he said.


The “Rule of Law”?

When B.C. premier John Horgan said “the rule of law applies” in reference to the Coastal GasLink pipeline conflict, he meant that he would abide by an injunction granted by a provincial court to allow the company to enter and operate on Wet’suwet’en territory.

In doing so, he discounted a number of legal elements — and even an entire system of law — that arguably supercede the B.C. courts.

When it comes to injunctions, the deck is stacked. The Yellowhead Institute reviewed over 100 injunction cases late last year. They found that corporations succeeded in 76 per cent of injunctions filed against Indigenous nations, whereas requests for injunctions filed by Indigenous nations against governments and corporations were denied in over 80 per cent of cases.

And thus he also unwittingly raised larger questions about the legal aspects of the conflict.

Whose laws apply? And which laws?

The rule of law is far more complicated in this case than simply following an injunction. A pre-existing system of Indigenous governance, Supreme Court of Canada decisions, and a United Nations declaration all bring into question the legal validity of the injunction granted to Coastal GasLink.


from: Ricochet

                                                                           Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.

Regarding Nuclear Waste Storage

First Nation votes ‘no’ on nuclear waste storage in Bruce County, Ont.

Published Friday, January 31, 2020 12:07PM EST Last Updated Saturday, February 1, 2020 11:06AM EST


First Nation votes ‘no’ on nuclear waste storage in Bruce County, Ont.

Members of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) have voted down plans to bury Ontario’s low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste within 1.2 kilometres of Lake Huron.

In 2013, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) said they wouldn’t build the $2.4 billion underground facility under the Bruce Power site without the SON’s approval.

On Friday,  1,232 members of the First Nation band voted. The vote results saw 1,058 ‘no’ votes, with 170 ‘yes’ and 4 spoiled ballots.

It means Canada’s first permanent nuclear waste facility will need to be built somewhere else in Ontario.

OPG will now have to start searching for a new host community to house over 200,000 cubic metres of low- and intermediate- level nuclear waste.

OPG says finding a new site may set the project back 20 to 30 years.

Concerns over the project’s proximity to Lake Huron ultimately doomed the nuclear waste plan.

Support for the project was strong in Bruce County, but largely panned around the Great Lakes, where over 200 municipal resolutions opposed the project.

Ontario Power Generation say while they are disapointed with the outcome of the vote, they respect S.O.N.’s decision and will not proceed with plans to build the storage facility in Saugeen Territory.



  • Nuclear waste DGRAn illustration shows the plan for a nuclear waste burial project on the Bruce Power site.

  • Nuclear waste burialA sign is visible at the site proposed to bury nuclear waste near Lake Huron, Ont., Wednesday, May 6, 2015. (Scott Miller / CTV London)

Indigenous Rights Challenged

What you need to know about the Coastal GasLink pipeline conflict

Dispute in Wet’suwet’en territory over natural gas line has high economic and political stakes

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs from left, Rob Alfred, John Ridsdale and Antoinette Austin, who oppose the Coastal Gaslink pipeline, take part in a rally in Smithers, B.C., on Jan. 10. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press)

The conflict over a natural gas pipeline in northwestern British Columbia is the latest flashpoint between resource development and Indigenous rights and title in a province where large swaths of territory are not covered by any treaty.

At the centre of the conflict is a multi-billion dollar natural gas project — touted as the largest private sector investment in Canadian history — and an assertion by Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs that no pipelines can be built through their traditional territory without their consent.