Posts

Showing posts from September, 2018

It's up to Indigenous, environmental groups to protect the public interest

Image
(Photo by Ken Balcomb, Center for Whale Research, pic from Washington Post)
This article is Part 2 of a 2-part series which was originally published in The Lawyer's Daily on September 17, 2018. The link to Part 1 which was published Sept.11, 2018 is provided below.
Despite objections from some of the Indigenous groups about the consultation process, the Federal Court of Appeal (in Tsleil-Waututh Nation et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) 2018 FCA 153) held that Canada acted in good faith and that the consultation framework it used was appropriate.
This was a four-phase process which was to include (1) early engagement, (2) NEB hearing, (3) governor-in-council consideration and (4) regulatory authorization processes.
Where Canada fell down was in Phase III of the consultation process in that it did not meaningfully consider the concerns of the Indigenous groups or attempt to accommodate or mitigate those concerns. There was no substantive discussion about Indigenous rights and the FCA …

Killer Whales, Trans Mountain Pipeline and the Public Interest

Image
                  (photo by NOAA from Raincoast Conservation Foundation)
This article is Part 1 of a 2 part series which was originally published in The Lawyer's Daily on September 11, 2018. Part 2 will be published in a few days.
Tahlequah’s “tour of grief” which saw one of the female southern resident killer whales (referred to by scientists as J-35) carry her deceased calf for 17 days was an unprecedented show of grief for the death of her calf. It is also a sad reminder of the fact that these endangered whales have had no successful births for three years. Her visible mourning tore at the heartstrings of many Americans, Canadians and especially Indigenous peoples who know all too well the pain of losing their children. While it is not uncommon for a killer whale to hold her deceased calf for a few hours or a day, this show of extended grief was the first time observed by scientists.
Some wonder whether Tahlequah’s actions were not a call for help given that there are only 75 whal…