Judge refuses to block B.C. logging auction, against First Nations’ wishes

July 29, 2015

By: Vancouver Sun

A judge has refused to block British Columbia’s government from auctioning off 15 logging licenses within the traditional territory of a First Nation in the province’s northeast.

B.C. Supreme Court has dismissed an injunction application by the Blueberry River First Nations connected to almost 1,700 hectares of marketable timber in the upper Peace River Region.

The application is part of a much broader lawsuit in which the First Nation alleges its treaty rights have been violated wholesale, in a region that will be home to the province’s controversial Site C hydroelectric dam.

In applying for the injunction, the First Nation argued the Crown breached its treaty obligations with the cut-block auction, which is slated for August.

However, the Crown says the First Nation has long known about the proposed logging, was consulted and didn’t object until a recent change in its leadership.

The judge says the First Nation may be able to persuade the courts to put a wide-ranging hold on industrial activity until the broader lawsuit is heard, but he says the public interest is not served by dealing with the issue project by project.

 

By: Vancouver Sun

Your comments.

  1. John K. Jeglum says:

    The issue is in the last sentence, what is the public interest. It seems to me the judge is acting on behalf of the various bidders for the 15 logging licenses, to expedite moving along with the harvesting of these 15 licenses. There is something missing here. Is there a plan for forest management in the NE. Is this just the next wave of exploitation of resources, first LNG providing access, then the logging companies move in and denude the land. I am completely in support of the First Nation, it is their tradition land, they are much more likely to look at the whole issue and determine if it protects their traditional rights of hunting, fishing, and development in the careful ways they would like to see. This issue boils down to consultation, and wise managment of the forest on a sustainable basis.

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