Consultation with Aboriginal Peoples: Impacts on the Petroleum Industry
AbstractThe duties of consultation and accommodation with Aboriginal peoples affected by resource development were, until 2002, primarily the responsibility of the Crown. The British Columbia Court of Appeal, in two related decisions involving the Haida Nation on the one hand and the Crown and Weyerhaeuser Company Limited on the other, has placed these duties squarely on to the shoulders of industry. Where the Crown fails to discharge its duties of consultation and accommodation, resource tenures such as permits, licenses or leases may be invalid and activity conducted pursuant to the tenures may result in damages awarded against industry in favour of affected Aboriginal peoples. Appeals from both decisions will be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada. In the meantime, the law on industry’s duty to consult and to accommodate Aboriginal peoples continues to lack certainty.
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