B.C. Supreme Court decision in favour of the Blueberry River First Nation could have significant impact on oil and gas industry
FORT ST. JOHN -- It’s being called a milestone for the Blueberry River First Nation and Treaty 8 Territory in northeastern British Columbia.
The Supreme Court of British Columbia ruling in favour of the First Nation saying, the B.C. government infringed on the Blueberry River First Nation’s treaty rights by allowing decades of industrial activites that had been guaranteed under Treaty 8.
The ruling said the years of aggressive industrial development was promoted by successive provincial governments.
The ruling is expected to significantly impact current industries such as oil and gas operations in the region. The ruling prevents the province from authorizing activities that would continue to add to the cumulative impacts that would continue to violate the Treaty 8 agreement.
“For years, Blueberry members have witnessed the destruction of our territory by provincial policies that actively support and promote industrial development at the expense of our way of life,” said Blueberry First Nations Chief Marvin Yahey/
The ruling says the Province must now work with Blueberry in a new way to develop an approach that respects and preserves the territory and recognizes Blueberry’s rights and way of life.