Project Law Blog

Category Archives: Constitutional Law

Subscribe to Constitutional Law RSS Feed

Canada Releases Discussion Paper on Proposed Changes to Federal Environmental and Regulatory Reviews

Posted in Aboriginal, Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Environmental, Project Permitting, Public Law, Regulatory
Comment

In 2016, the Government of Canada began reviews of federal environmental legislation and the National Energy Board (NEB).  At the same time, Parliamentary standing committees undertook reviews of changes to federal fisheries and navigable waters laws.  Reports from those four processes were released earlier in 2017.[1] The Government of Canada has now released a discussion… Continue Reading

The Seven Year Itch: The SCC Returns to Address an Unresolved Question regarding the Crown’s Duty to Consult Aboriginal People and the Legislative Process

Posted in Aboriginal, Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Consultation, Environmental, Project Permitting, Public Law, Regulatory
Comment

On May 18, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada agreed to hear an appeal in an important case that could further define the nature and extent of the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal people, including the previously unresolved question as to whether the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal people can be triggered by legislative action…. Continue Reading

“Supreme Court of Canada to hear appeal on Yukon Peel watershed decision”

Posted in Aboriginal, Constitutional Law, Consultation, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting, Regulatory
Comment

Update: On June 9, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada agreed to hear an appeal from Yukon Court of Appeal’s Peel watershed decision.  Click here to read our earlier blog post on the Court of Appeal’s decision handed down November 4, 2015.

The Daniels Decision: All Aboriginal Peoples, including Métis and non-status Indians, are “Indians” under section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867

Posted in Aboriginal, Constitutional Law, Consultation
Comment

The Supreme Court of Canada has handed down its decision in the Daniels case. The Supreme Court’s decision resolves a question of constitutional responsibility for Aboriginal peoples other than First Nations and Inuit — Canada’s Métis and non-status Indians. Under section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867, the federal Parliament has exclusive legislative authority for… Continue Reading

New Consultation Policy and Guidelines for Métis Settlements in Alberta

Posted in Aboriginal, Constitutional Law, Consultation, Project Development, Project Permitting, Regulatory, Regulatory Compliance
Comment

On April 4, 2016, the Government of Alberta (“GoA”) implemented its first formal consultation process between the government, project proponents, and Métis Settlements with the release of The Government of Alberta’s Guidelines on Consultation with Métis Settlements on Land and Natural Resource Management, 2016 (“Guidelines”) and The Government of Alberta’s Policy on Consultation with Métis… Continue Reading

Losing the Battle but Winning the War?

Posted in Aboriginal, Constitutional Law, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting, Regulatory
Comment

On November 4, 2015, the Yukon Court of Appeal released its decision in the Peel River case that we first reported on here.  The decision focussed on whether the Yukon Government properly followed the land use planning process set out in three modern land claims agreements in the development of a land use plan for… Continue Reading

“Free, Prior and Informed Consent” to become part of Alberta law?

Posted in Aboriginal, Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Consultation, Environmental, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting, Regulatory, Regulatory Compliance
Comment

On July 7, 2015, Alberta’s Premier Rachel Notley directed her Cabinet Ministers to review their Ministries’ policies, programs and legislation that may require changes based on the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration). Premier Notley tasked her Ministers to “engage directly with Indigenous people to find a… Continue Reading

Court strikes down Yukon’s Peel watershed land use plan

Posted in Aboriginal, Constitutional Law, Consultation, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting, Regulatory
Comment

On December 2, 2014, the Yukon Supreme Court struck down the Yukon government’s Peel watershed regional land use plan because of the government’s failure to follow the process for developing that plan under final agreements (modern treaties) with the Na-Cho Nyak Dun, Tr’ondek Hwech’in and Vuntut Gwichin First Nations. The case marks the first time… Continue Reading

Supreme Court of Canada Confirms Provincial Power to Take Up Lands under Treaty – Grassy Narrows First Nation v Ontario (Natural Resources), 2014 SCC 48

Posted in Aboriginal, Constitutional Law, Consultation
Comment

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada released another important Aboriginal law decision, Keewatin v. Ontario (Natural Resources), 2014 SCC 48. The decision confirms the power of Ontario, along with other provincial governments, to manage natural resources over lands subject to numbered treaties. Treaty 3 is one of the historical, numbered treaties entered into between Canada… Continue Reading

Supreme Court of Canada Grants Tsilhqot’in Nation a Declaration of Aboriginal Title

Posted in Aboriginal, Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Consultation, Environmental, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting, Public Law, Public Utility, Regulatory, Regulatory Compliance
Comment

Introduction On June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) released its much anticipated decision on Aboriginal title in the Tsilhqot’in case and surprised many by granting the Tsilhqot’in Nation a declaration of Aboriginal title to approximately 200,000 hectares (2,000 km2) of land. The Tsilhqot’in case is the first case decided by the SCC… Continue Reading

Federal Court Declares that Métis and Non-Status Indians are Federal Responsibility

Posted in Aboriginal, Constitutional Law
Comment

On January 8, 2013, the  Federal Court released its decision in Daniels v Canada, 2013 FC 6, a case involving the scope of the word “Indian” under section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867.  The plaintiffs sought a declaration that Métis and non-status Indians (“MNSI”) are “Indians” for the purposes of section 91(24) of the… Continue Reading

Joint Review Panel Finds it Lacks the Necessary Jurisdiction to Adjudicate Crown Consultation with First Nations

Posted in Aboriginal, Constitutional Law, Consultation
Comment

On October 26, 2012, the Joint Review Panel (the “Panel”) established to review the Jackpine Mine Expansion Project (the “Jackpine Project”) found that its statutory jurisdiction does not include the authority to adjudicate the adequacy of the Crown’s consultation with First Nations. As interested parties in the proceeding, the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Fort McMurray… Continue Reading

Alberta Court of Appeal Leaves Question of ERCB’s Jurisdiction to Assess Crown Consultation to Another Day

Posted in Constitutional Law, Consultation
Comment

The Alberta Court of Appeal has denied the Cold Lake First Nations’ (CLFN) application to appeal a decision by Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) that it did not have the jurisdiction to determine the adequacy of Crown consultation in respect of a bitumen recovery project within the CLFN’s treaty territory. The ERCB held that… Continue Reading

Court of Appeal Upholds Ruling that Municipalities Do Not Have a Constitutional Duty to Consult First Nations

Posted in Aboriginal, Constitutional Law, Consultation, Project Permitting
Comment

On September 25, 2012, the BC Court of Appeal released its reasons in Neskonlith Indian Band v Salmon Arm (City), 2012 BCCA 379 dismissing an appeal by the Neskonlith Indian Band (the “Neskonlith”) seeking, inter alia, a declaration that the City of Salmon Arm (the “City”) had a duty to consult with the Neskonlith. The… Continue Reading