Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Craig McInnes , "Duty to consult first nations adds time, cost, confusion for developers," Vancouver Sun, May 20, 2009.

[Could be a stimulus to a part of the economy badly in need of it. -jlt]


No one should be surprised by the news last week that a North Shore first nation, the Tsleil-Waututh, is charging the Village of Belcarra $36,000 to review a $6-million water pipeline project.

The fees are a natural outgrowth of the court decisions over the past five years that ruled governments at all levels have a duty to consult first nations before allowing developments that affect their traditional territories.

Even though that duty has not been defined as the power to veto a project, it still represents more work for project proponents and first nations alike.

The Tsleil-Waututh decided in January to start charging fees to cover their costs for consulting. Taken by itself, it's a reasonable decision. It is expensive to effectively assess development proposals, either through assembling in-house expertise or by hiring outside consultants.

But the Tsleil-Waututh represent just the tip of an iceberg that threatens to rip a deep gash in the provincial economy.

The Tsleil-Waututh are just one of more than 100 bands in B.C., many of which have overlapping claims to traditional territory.

  ...more delay and higher costs.

Read the rest here =>Recommend this Post

Sphere: Related Content