For immediate release
September 27, 2023
VICTORIA, B.C. – Today, the B.C. Supreme Court mandated an 18-month timeline for the province to overhaul its mineral rights system, following a legal challenge by First Nations asserting their constitutional right to meaningful consultation. The B.C. Green Caucus is calling on the BC NDP to halt all claims until the new regime is in place.
“We have been asking the Minister responsible for mining about an update to the Mineral Tenure Act for years,” said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands and member of Tsartlip First Nation. “This court decision shows the Minister’s lack of enthusiasm, and a cursory review of the Mineral Tenure Act exposes the fact the law is grossly misaligned with our commitments to Indigenous Nations in the Declaration Act.
“Once again, the BC NDP’s actions fail to match their promises. Instead of proactively addressing this egregiously outdated law, the BC NDP government has, once again, forced First Nations into courtrooms, where they have to expend hundreds of thousands of dollars. This approach is offensive.
“We find ourselves in a situation like the Blueberry River First Nations case. It’s not clear whether the necessary work has been done, or if the BC NDP has dragged its heels, and now we are scrambling to the finish line which will not produce the best work or the fairest outcomes.
“This decision leaves First Nations incredibly vulnerable in the next year and a half. Leaving it that way is not in the spirit of the UNDRIP.”
B.C. Green Caucus
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