Both the Assembly of First Nations and Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations are heralding the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision on the Trans Mountain pipeline as a victory for First Nations people.
On Thursday, the court quashed the Liberal government’s decision to move ahead with the pipeline project and it now sits in limbo.
AFN Chief Perry Bellegarde says it’s unfortunate that First Nations must go to court to defend their inherent rights to title and jurisdiction
He says the government did not even meet the duty to consult standard as articulated by the courts.
Bellegarde is calling on levels of government to work with First Nations, which will lead to better decisions and outcomes, avoiding costly court cases
In a released statement, FSIN Vice-Chief Heather Bear says, “It seems clear to me that the quasi-judicial boards, such as the National Energy Board, which determines whether First Nations were adequately consulted, are failing the First Nations peoples of this country.”
In contrast, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says Ottawa should use all tools available to it, including possible legislation, to get construction of the project underway quickly.
The Trudeau government maintains it plans to move ahead with the pipeline, in spite of the setback.