Canadian Forest Products Inc. v. Sam: Forestry Resource Management – Aboriginal Title Dispute at Loggerheads

In Canadian Forest Products Inc. v. Sam, the British Columbia Supreme Court provided a short term solution for two separate forestry/aboriginal title issues.  Ultimately, aboriginal interests won the day, but the injunctions provided and denied by the court are almost certainly only paving the way for future litigation. 

134     If all factors are equal, the status quo should be maintained. Here, however, it is not simple. While maintenance of the status quo pending trial may have negative consequences because of the pine beetle infestation, there is evidence before me that the forest biodiversity persists with changing specie in the face of this threat. This complex issue cannot be resolved on an application of this nature. Further, the status quo was initially defined by the 2001 agreement: the Red Top Road allowing access to the Redtop for logging or any other purpose was to be closed. It has been refined by the grant of CP324.

135     The balance of convenience is not weighted equally here. The balance favours the Kelah plaintiffs in all of the circumstances.

(4) Conclusion

136     Canfor’s application for an interim injunction against the Sam defendants in action no. S098601 is dismissed. Costs will be in the cause of that action generally.

137     The Kelah plaintiffs’ application for an interim injunction in action no. S100409 to restrain Canfor from engaging in timber harvesting within CP324 is allowed. Costs will be in the cause of that action generally.