Indigenous Groups Win One, Lose One in the Canadian Supreme Court
July 28, 2017
The Supreme Court of Canada rendered two important decisions relating to indigenous rights and natural resources' exploitation. In the first decision, Clyde River (Hamlet) and Petroleum Geo-Services Inc., the Supreme Court overturned an authorization granted by Canada's controversial National Energy Board or NEB.
In this case, the NEB authorized a petroleum exploration company to conduct seismic testing in sensitive Arctic waters off Canada's coast in the far north.
In the second decision, Chippewas of the Thames First Nation and Enbridge Pipelines, the Supreme Court upheld a National Energy Board authorization to Canadian pipeline company Enbridge to complete its Line 9 pipeline project in the south of Canada's most populous province, Ontario. The Line 9 pipeline connecting Sarnia, Ontario to Montreal, Quebec opened in 1976 with the purpose of transporting crude oil from western Canada to eastern refineries. Line nine cuts through the Chippewas of the Thames traditional territory in southern Ontario and crosses the Thames River.
It was approved and built without any consultation with the Chippewas of the Thames. In 2012, Enbridge applied to the NEB to increase the annual capacity of Line 9 from 240,000 to 300,000 barrels per day, and, most importantly, to use Line 9 for the transportation of heavy crude from Canada's tar sands. Now here to discuss these two important decisions with us are Jerry Natanine and Eugene Kung. Jerry Natanine is the former mayor of Clyde River, which is an autonomous territory of Nunavut in northern Canada. He has been leading the legal battle to protect Inuit waters from the harms of seismic testing. Eugene Kung is staff council at West Coast Environmental Law.
The Supreme Court of Canada rendered two important decisions relating to indigenous rights and natural resource exploitation. TRNN hosts a discussion with former Clyde River Mayor Jerry Natanine and Eugene Kung, staff counsel at West Coast Environmental Law