Thursday, April 24, 2014
Text Size

First Nations' OCP petition hearings wrap up

B.C. Supreme Court decision expected in three to six months, says RMOW

by Brandon Barrett

piquenewsmagazine.com

A petition hearing over Whistler's Official Community Plan (OCP) wrapped up in B.C. Supreme Court last week, but RMOW and First Nations officials will have to wait at least three months for a judgment.

Squamish and Lil'wat First Nations filed a joint petition against the province following adoption of the municipal planning document by B.C.'s Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development in May. The RMOW was also named in the petition.

Local First Nations are asking the OCP be thrown out because of claims that the plan's inclusion of a hard cap on future development prevents the Squamish and Lil'wat from pursuing economic development opportunities on Crown land that's located within municipal boundaries.

A hard cap on bed units included in the OCP, which can only be lifted by the municipality if a project demonstrates "extraordinary benefit" to the community, infringes upon the Squamish and Lil'wat's aboriginal rights, according to the petition.

The province filed a response to the petition in September, alleging that the Nations failed to identify any specific activities or aboriginal rights affected by the OCP. An aboriginal right must be an activity that is an element of a practice, custom or tradition integral to the culture of the group claiming the right.

Petitioners also claimed the level of consultation with provincial officials ahead of the plan's adoption was inadequate. Victoria countered the claim, saying the record of consultation showed that the province met the legal requirement.

The municipality filed its own response requesting the court's dismissal of the petition, citing a 2007 Land Legacies Agreement signed between the Nations as having bound the Lil'wat and Squamish to the tenets set out in the OCP. Under the agreement, the province granted 300 acres and 452 bed units to the Nations for allowing the RMOW to expand its boundaries ahead of the 2010 Olympics. A provision of the deal stated that any land held by the Nations within municipal boundaries "would be subject to all valid RMOW bylaws and orders despite any rule of law, court decision or enactment to the contrary that would exempt the Petitioners because of their aboriginal status," like, for example, Whistler's OCP bylaw.

The petition hearings began in Vancouver court in November, with the final three days of proceedings delayed until late last month. The hearings wrapped up last Wednesday, Jan. 29. The RMOW confirmed that a decision is expected in three to six months.

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

Blast from the past: FP archive

When is Consultation, Consultation?

Write comment (7 Comments)

Ovide Mercredi

National Chief – AFN

During a Treaty Roundtable meeting of the Alberta Chiefs, I took note of a federal government document outlining their strategy to define and ultimately impose their own form of self-government. Read more...

Letting go of residential schools

Write comment (2 Comments)

by Gilbert Oskaboose, Nov 1993 First Perspective

There is a lot of "unfinished business" in Indian Country. Garbage that we as a people have never really dealt with. Chief among them is the whole issue of those infamous residential schools and their impact on people. Read more...

OBIDIAH

obidiah picture

ANALYSIS - Bill Gallagher

gallagher picture

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

EVENTS

April 2014
S M T W T F S
30 31 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 1 2 3
Mon Mar 31 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
NICE ‘Indian’ Trust Funds
Fri Apr 04 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
THE 21ST ANNUAL ABORIGINAL MIXED CURLING BONSPIEL

John Bigface

imageimageimageimageimage
cartoonscartoonscartoonscartoonscartoons

Current Video

Indigenous Writers Festival 2014 Opening Night

Write comment (0 Comments)

Chief Arlen Dumas Confronts NC Shawn Atleo

Write comment (2 Comments)

Employment