No Axes To the Taxes – Marcinyshyn v. R.

Marcinyshyn v. R was recently handed down by the Tax Court of Canada – and is really just more of the same.  The aboriginal appellants were denied tax relief because of the failed “connecting factors” test, notwithstanding their argument that the test has become obsolete as a result of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Bastien and Dubé.

Self-Government For Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia?

CTV recently released (October 4) a tiny story on what could be a monolithic advancement for the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia, and in turn for aboriginals throughout Canada.  Here’s the story.  However, be forewarned, this small piece, not even 200 words, barely offers any substance and reads more like an Onion article (“[O]ne of the most pressing details to work out for the Mi’kmaq is to find a place to put a House of Assembly”).   And perhaps tellingly, Federal Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister John Duncan would not offer comment on it.  Curioser and curioser.  Stay tuned…

Ontario Superior Court of Justice Adds Two Schools To Residential Schools Settlement Agreement

Stirland Lake and Cristal Lake have been added to the already 130+ number of schools that have been identified and listed under Schedules “E” or “F” of Canada’s Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.  Here’s the decision, Fontaine v. Canada (Attorney General)

Continue reading

British Columbia Court of Appeal Dismisses Vancouver’s Appeal Against Musqueam Indian Band

The court didn’t agree with the Greater Vancouver Regional District’s argument that the recent Musqueam Reconciliation, Settlement and Benefits Agreement Implementation Act was ultra vires the province’s power because “it is, in pith and substance, a law in relation to ‘Indians and Lands reserved for the Indians.'”  The decision is here.

Continue reading

Tzeachten First Nation v. Canada Lands Co.

An application by Canada Lands Co. to dismiss an action brought by Chief Joe Hall on behalf of the members of Tzeachten First Nation, the Skowkale First Nation and the Yakweakwioose First Nation, was rejected by the British Columbia Supreme Court.  Canada Lands Co. claimed that Tzeachan’s action was barred by res judicata.  Alternatively, Canada Lands Co. asked that the claim be struck because it disclosed no reasonable claim or was an abuse of process. 

The judge denied the application.  Here’s the decision.

Campbell v. British Columbia: Costs Awarded To Crown and Sunshine Logging

There’s no legal sunshine for the unsuccessful aboriginal petitioners (Sinixt Nation Society, Representative Body of the Sinixt Nation) who were not only deemed to have no standing back in February, but now the B.C Supreme Court has also awarded costs to both the Crown and Sunshine Logging Ltd.  Here’s the decision.  It provides an interesting analysis of costs in the context of what constitutes public interest actions.

Continue reading

Louis v. British Columbia: Crown Acted Honourably – Discharged Its Duty To Consult Obligation

It looks like Chief Reginald Louis and members of the Stellat’en First Nation are out of luck.  They sought judicial review and a number of orders on the basis that the provincial Crown (B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources) failed to adequately and meaningfully consult them.  Their concern was in relation to a mine located on land over which they have asserted Aboriginal title and rights.  Here’s the decision.

Continue reading

Sun Peaks Resort Added as Respondent In Forthcoming “Duty to Consult” Appeal

Back in March, we reported on the Adams Lake Band’s successful duty to consult petition.  Recently, in that same case, the Sun Peaks Resort was successful in being added as a respondent in the appeal.  Here it is.

Continue reading

Updated Canadian Supreme Court Justice Stats

Here’s the updated stats  for the Supreme Court of Canada’s justices after the recent R. v. Bastien; R. v. Dubé  and Peavine Metis Settlement v. Alberta decisions.  They now range from 27.2% (LeBel)  all the way to 50% (Rothstein and Cromwell) in favor of aboriginal interests. 

Take that, Justices Roberts and Alito – still both at 0% ~ 0/7 and 0/6, respectively.   The complete U.S. Supreme Court stats can be found here.

Gitxsan Nation v. Gitxsan Treaty Society: No Reasonable Cause of Action

A British Columbia Supreme Court judge recently dismissed an action by the Gitxsan Nation against the Gitxsan Treaty Society (“GTS”) (oppression); Canada and British Columbia (breach of fiduciary duty and of duty of honour) and; the British Columbia Treaty Commission (negligence).

The plaintiffs’ complaint is that over the years the GTS has unduly restricted the involvement of the plaintiff hereditary chiefs and Indian bands in treaty negotiations. They complain that, amongst other things, GTS has declined to take direction or input from the Gitxsan chiefs, restricted debate on matters of concern to all Gitxsan, and conducted its affairs in a secretive and “oppressive” manner that was unfairly prejudicial to the plaintiffs.

Continue reading