High Court Ruling Not Expected To Impact Sask.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 at 13:13



A lawyer for the provincial government says a recent Supreme Court decision on aboriginal logging rights likely won’t have much of an impact in Saskatchewan.


Last week, the high court ruled that Aboriginal people in New Brunwick can chop down trees on Crown land for personal use.


The decision was unanimous and stated the use of wood for products like homes, furniture and boats was all considered acceptable.


Saskatchewan Justice lawyer Mitch McAdam notes the Supreme Court handed down a similar ruling for Saskatchewan in 1999.


The Sundown case involved a First Nations resident who cut wood to build a hunting cabin in Meadow Lake Provincial Park.


McAdam says the court ruled Sundown was within his rights to build the structure, because it complemented his treaty rights to hunt and fish.


McAdam adds the courts have also made it clear Native people can’t use the wood for commercial purposes — even if they claim it’s for personal use.


He says the government hasn’t had any problems in Saskatchewan since the Sundown ruling came out.