Our First Nations Peoples – Failed Attempts To Be Us?

If the current Environmental Assessment Act is sufficient to protect all lakes and rivers, why did the government deem it necessary to include a small list of both key and posh waterways in the new Navigation Protection Act for special attention?

Even the Oldman River’s process and final ruling was ignored by the Alberta government, who pushed through the building of the dam in 1992 under the watches of Don Getty, Ralph Klein and Brian Mulroney – big “C” Conservatives all. I do not blame the Conservatives alone, federally, though they have to carry the can for Alberta, having been in power there for soooo long. The fact sadly remains that, no matter what Punch and Judy show we have going on in Ottawa for the amusement and seduction of Joe Couch Potato, the environmental legislation we have now has not succeeded broadly enough in protecting the environment against powerful domestic and, increasingly, foreign interests.

If the Athabaska River flowed south to Calgary instead of north, it would have been protected because of, frankly, the non-native electors who live there. Continue reading “Our First Nations Peoples – Failed Attempts To Be Us?”

Canada’s Court of Appeal “liked” The Navigable Waters Act

Sorry, in these FaceBook dominated times, I couldn’t resist this corny title 😉

In 1992 a federal Court of Appeal presided over by eight judges including Canada’s Chief Justice at the time, Antonio Lamer, concluded that the Navigable Waters Act was about more than boats and cottagers’ docks. The case I’m referring to was Friends of the Oldman River Society v. Canada (Minister of Transport), [1992] 1 S.C.R. 3. The Court of Appeal, in its judgement against the building of a dam on Alberta’s Oldman River, ruled that, though the prime purpose of the Navigable Waters Act was to protect navigation, complaints brought before it usually were about things (like bridges and dams) that might interfere with navigation. So the Court’s role was to consider whether other advantages of a project might be important enough to justify interference with navigation. Included among things to be considered, the Court ruled, was the effect of a project on the environment.

Quoting from the Court’s 1992 ruling:

As I mentioned earlier in these reasons, the Act (the Navigable Waters Act) has a more expansive environmental dimension,

Continue reading “Canada’s Court of Appeal “liked” The Navigable Waters Act”