Manitoba did not adequately consult First Nations on flood channel work, judge rules

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WINNIPEG – A Manitoba judge has dominated the province didn’t correctly consult First Nations communities on a part of a deliberate flood-prevention challenge.

Chief Justice Glenn Joyal of the Court of Queen’s Bench says the province did not reside as much as its constitutional obligation to consult First Nations close to Lake St. Martin, the place the province is planning to construct two channels to scale back the chance of flooding.

As a part of preparatory work, the Manitoba authorities issued a allow in 2019 for a proper of method on Crown land, in order that engineers might do groundwater monitoring and different exercise.

The Interlake Reserves Tribal Council, which incorporates six communities within the space, stated there was no dialogue upfront of tree-clearing and different work that was executed.

Lawyers for Manitoba argued that the province had began talking with First Nations and the clearing was a part of the broader session course of on the challenge.

Joyal, nonetheless, dominated that the clearing and different work executed beneath the 2019 allow was not correctly communicated beforehand.

“I agree with the applicants when they say that throughout the period of time in question, leading up to and shortly following the issuance of the permit, Manitoba had multiple opportunities to advise the applicants of the clearing contemplated by the permit, but did not do so in any meaningful way,” Joyal wrote in his choice launched Thursday.

The authorities solely suggested two of 4 affected First Nations communities of the allow work upfront, Joyal added, and that was in an e mail over the Christmas holidays in 2018.

“The Christmas email did not say they only had seven business days within which to provide a response before the permit would be issued.”

Joyal rejected a second declare by the First Nations of insufficient session regarding a licence granted to construct an entry highway resulting in the realm. The authorities adopted correct process and was inside its rights to dismiss an enchantment of the licence, he wrote.

The court docket battle is a component of a bigger dispute over the $600-million flood-prevention challenge, which might see two channels constructed to empty excessive water from Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin into Lake Winnipeg. The Lake St. Martin space was severely flooded in 2011, forcing 1000’s from their houses.

The challenge has but to be accredited as environmental regulators in Ottawa have questioned whether or not the Manitoba authorities has executed sufficient to deal with First Nations issues.

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed June 23, 2022


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