On November 18, 2004 the Supreme Court of Canada ("the Court") released its two landmark decisions on aboriginal consultation. Haida Nation v. British Columbia (Minister of Forests) and Weyerhaeuser Company Limited, and Taku River Tlingit First Nation v. British Columbia (Project Assessment Director), together, provide the most significant discussion to date by the Court on Aboriginal consultation. The main issue before the Court was very narrow: did the governments have an obligation to consult Aboriginal peoples over government authorized activities in instances where the Aboriginal rights were unknown, uncertain, or in dispute, and if so the extent of that obligation. The Supreme Court of Canada concluded that where the Crown, federal or provincial, has “knowledge, real or constructive,” of the potential existence of an Aboriginal right, title or a treaty right, and contemplates conduct that might adversely affect that right or title, the honour of the Crown requires the Crown to consult and in some circumstances accommodate that interest. Ria Tzimas offers an overview of the two cases, discusses the m with reference to the analysis offered by Slattery and McNeil and discusses some thoughts on were the discussion concerning aboriginal consultation and reconciliation is likely to go and what the future challenges might be.
Tzimas, E. Ria.
"Haida Nation and Taku River: A Commentary On Aboriginal Consultation and Reconciliation."
The Supreme Court Law Review: Osgoode’s Annual Constitutional Cases Conference
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