‘Taking The Economy To Court: B.C. Update’

Now, Canadian courts have enabled the lawyer-driven ‘Aboriginal Industry’ to sue both companies and individuals over land use on ‘traditional territories’ — even before a tribe has proven any connection whatsoever with the land in question, and even if the land had been previously stolen from another tribe. Let the chaos begin: 

“Last week, the Halalt ‘First Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 205 people} filed two civil suits totalling $2.1 billion in ‘damages’ against Catalyst Paper, a pulp and paper company based in Richmond, British Columbia.

“The community claims that the company’s mill in Crofton—which has been operating for more than 59 years {and employs 578 people} —is interfering with the Halalt ‘First Nation’s ‘aboriginal rights’. In addition to the financial compensation, the ‘First Nation’ is seeking a

“permanent order to prevent Catalyst from conducting operations at the Crofton Mill”. 

“This is not the first time ‘Halalt First Nation’ has used the courts to protect their ‘aboriginal rights’. In 2011, the B.C. Supreme Court ruled that the province failed to properly consult with the Halalt ‘First Nation’ when developing a well project that would ultimately infringe on ‘asserted fishing rights’ {“asserted” means ‘unproven’} tied to the Chemainus River {see below}. However, the current civil cases are against a private party.

“The two new civil suits brought forth by the Halalt ‘First Nation’ should not come as a surprise, given the current legal landscape of ‘aboriginal title’ in B.C. As a 2015 ‘Fraser Institute’ report points out, increased litigation against private parties is to be expected in light of the “Saik’uz ‘First Nation’ and Stellat’en ‘First Nation’ v. Rio Tinto” judgment. This 2015 landmark judgment opens up private parties, such as citizens and companies, to ‘aboriginal rights and title’ litigation that was previously only brought forward against governments.

{See: ‘Supremes Get it Wrong Again’ {November 21, 2015}: http://endracebasedlaw.net/supremes-get-it-wrong-again/ } ERBLSupremesGetItWrongAgain600x600“The judgment allows ‘First Nations’ communities to claim damages against a private party on ‘traditional territory’ BEFORE proving that ‘aboriginal title’ exists on the ‘traditional territory’. This type of litigation against private parties also has the potential to add to the uncertainty of doing business in provinces such as B.C.

“For example, The ‘Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies’ has shown that the number one impediment for mining investment in B.C. is uncertainty over disputed land claims. These concerns result from the uncertain status of aboriginal land claims in the province.

{See: ‘Scaring Off Investment’ (B.C.) {January 15, 2016}: http://endracebasedlaw.net/scaring-off-investment/ } ERBLScaringOffInvestment600x600“By exposing private parties to litigation that has traditionally been brought only against governments, the ‘Rio Tinto’ judgment compounds the issue of land uncertainty in B.C. In addition to casting doubt on future resource projects, this judgment also jeopardizes projects like the Catalyst mill that has been operating for half a century.

“It should be no surprise then that cases like Halalt ‘First Nation’s $2 billion civil case are coming forward. With more than 100% of the province claimed by ‘First Nations’ in B.C., there is no doubt that more communities will follow Halalt ‘First Nations’ lead…”

— ‘First Nation’ sues paper company in B.C. after court opens door for litigation against private parties’,
Ravina Bains and Kayla Ishkanian, Fraser Institute, February 2, 2016  {CAPS added}

http://www.fraserinstitute.org/blogs/first-nation-sues-paper-company-in-bc-after-court-opens-door-for-litigation-against-private-parties catalyst-paper-logo“‘Catalyst Paper’ announced today that it has been served with two ‘Notices of Civil Claim’ by the Halalt ‘First Nation’ and its business partners.

“Catalyst denies the allegations contained in both claims and intends to vigorously defend itself.

“The first claim was filed by the Halalt and its members alleging Catalyst has illegally trespassed on, and caused damages to, the Halalt’s asserted ‘territories and fisheries resources’, through the operation of Catalyst’s Crofton Mill since 1957.

“The Halalt is seeking an interim and permanent injunction restraining Catalyst from conducting its operations at the Crofton Mill that interfere with the Halalt’s claimed ‘riparian, water and land rights’, and are also seeking approximately $2 billion in damages.

“The second claim was filed jointly by the Halalt, ‘Sunvault Energy Inc.’ and ‘Aboriginal Power Corp.’, alleging Catalyst disclosed certain confidential information pertaining to a proposed anaerobic digester facility, in breach of a confidentiality agreement. The plaintiffs are seeking, among other things, approximately $100 million in damages from Catalyst in connection with the alleged breach of contract, and a permanent injunction restraining Catalyst from constructing, owning or operating an anaerobic digester facility.”
‘About Catalyst Paper’
“Catalyst Paper manufactures diverse printing papers such as coated freesheet, C1S, coated and uncoated groundwood, newsprint, directory, as well as market pulp. Customers include retailers, publishers and commercial printers in North America, Latin America, the Pacific Rim and Europe. With five mills across North America, Catalyst has annual production capacity of 2.3 million tonnes. Catalyst is headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, and is ranked by ‘Corporate Knights’ magazine as one of the ‘50 Best Corporate Citizens in Canada’.”


“Our three mills – one a combined paper and pulp operation – are located in the British Columbia coastal communities of Crofton, Port Alberni and Powell River. All are in close proximity to our corporate headquarters in Richmond, and to our Surrey Distribution Centre, both of which are located in Metro Vancouver.

“Crofton is located on the southeast coast of Vancouver Island in the Cowichan Valley, near Duncan. With two paper machines producing directory and newsprint, and a kraft pulp operation, it employs some 578 people.”

Contact (Crofton mill): 250-246-6100

Catalyst Paper Corporation
2nd Floor, 3600 Lysander Lane
Richmond, British Columbia, Canada
V7B 1C3
Phone: 604-247-4400
Fax: 604-247-0512


http://www.catalystpaper.com/facilities/crofton-mill Halalt-logoHalalt ‘First Nation’:
7973 Chemainus Rd,
Chemainus, BC V0R 1K5
Phone:(250) 246-4736
https://halalt.org/ Halalt-First-Nation-Blockade-2010-600From 2010:
“For more than two weeks now, members of the Halalt ‘First Nation’, near the southeastern coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, have held onto their own “protective blockade” in defense of the Chemainus River.

“The blockade officially went up on February 25, just two days after the Okanagan Band launched their blockade…

“More than half the ‘First Nation’ is taking part in the effort, which is centered at a portion of Chemainus Road that runs through ‘their territory’…”

John Ahni Schertow, Intercontinental Cry, March 10, 2010

This blockade was set up to try and stop the Municipality of Chemainus from opening a new water aquifer for the town. The case went to the B.C. Supreme Court, which ruled in favour of the tribe.

The province appealed and the Appeal Court overturned the original decision:

“In July 2011, Madam Justice Catherine Wedge ruled in favour of the Halalt ‘First Nation’, who argued that the provincial government failed to properly consult and accommodate the Halalt when it approved North Cowichan’s drinking water well project in 2003. … (But) North Cowichan and the province appealed that decision in May, 2012. … The B.C. Court of Appeal (ruled in November) that the District of North Cowichan (has) access to the water.”

The tribe then tried to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada but in a rare display of common sense, the Supremes dismissed the appeal:

“At trial, the BC Supreme Court found that the Province failed to conduct a strength of claim assessment, inadequately consulted with, and failed to adequately accommodate the Halalt ‘First Nation’. The Court of Appeal set aside the Supreme Court’s findings and held that the lack of a formal strength of claim assessment does not necessarily undermine the adequacy of consultation and that the Province adequately consulted with and accommodated the Halalt ‘First Nation’…

“On July 11, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed applications for leave to appeal two British Columbian aboriginal cases: ‘Halalt ‘First Nation’ v. British Columbia, 2012 BCCA 472 (Halalt)’, and ‘Canadian Forest Products Ltd. v. Sam, 2013 BCCA 58 (Sam)’.”
http://www.fasken.com/supreme-court-canada-dismisses-leave-aboriginal-consultation-cases/ ERBLAboriginalBandsCanSueOverAllLandUseInBC600x600See also:
‘Aboriginal Bands Can Sue Over ALL Land Use In B.C.’ {April 19, 2015}:

‘B.C. Aboriginal Title’ {June 26, 2014}:

‘Exploration Company Pushes Back’ {October 6, 2015}https://www.facebook.com/ENDRACEBASEDLAW/photos/a.336196793149227.59519.332982123470694/680619738706929/?type=3

‘Shakedown’ (Northern Superior Sues Ontario over ‘Consult and Accommodate’) {September 21, 2015}https://www.facebook.com/ENDRACEBASEDLAW/photos/a.336196793149227.59519.332982123470694/676003689168534/?type=3

‘Taking the Economy to Court’ {November 25, 2014}

‘The Screwing Of Solid Gold Resources’ {September 1, 2014}

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1 Comment

  1. Give them what ever they want and subtract the cost from indian Affairs until that money runs out and then they are on their own. Basic Math.


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