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Alberta

Supreme Court decision disappoints Mikisew Cree First Nation

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  • Edmonton, AB – ?While the Mikisew Cree First Nation is disappointed with the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision today in ?Courtoreille v. Canada, their struggle to defend their treaty rights continues. Though today’s ruling means provincial and federal governments do not have the duty to consult about legislation threatening First Nation rights, Mikisew expects Canada to live up to the statements made in court that it would consult.

    The decision ends Mikisew’s 2013 legal challenge to the previous federal government’s cuts to Canada’s environmental protection laws. Through Bills C-38 and C-45, the Harper government changed the ?Canadian Environmental Assessment Act,? the ?Fisheries Act?, the ?Species at Risk Act?, and the ?Navigable Waters Protection Act, d?drastically ?reducing federal oversight over fish and their habitat, navigable waters, and species at risk. The Bills also reduced the number of projects requiring federal environmental assessments and reduced the scope and depth of assessments for those projects.

    “We are very disappointed that the court refused to advance reconciliation with this case,” said Mikisew’s legal counsel, Robert Janes. “The lack of consultation on these Bills led to bad laws, which resulted in failures like the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project and weaker environmental protection for all Canadians.”

    The Harper Government passed these laws without consulting with Mikisew and other affected First Nations. At the Federal Court, Mikisew successfully argued that governments have a legally binding duty to consult First Nations when developing legislation that may impact the rights of First Nations. After the Federal Court of Appeal overturned the earlier ruling in 2016, Mikisew took its case to the Supreme Court of Canada, which has upheld the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision.

    Mikisew Chief Archie Waquan said the ruling was a missed opportunity.

    “Mikisew and other First Nations have valuable knowledge, laws and experience to contribute. We should be at the table with government not reacting after the fact through litigation.” This decision does not end Mikisew’s fight to protect its treaty rights. Chief Waquan noted the decision does not prevent the Crown from actually consulting. “The Crown has said they could and would consult and we will hold them to that promise.”

     

    Background

    Mikisew Cree First Nation signed Treaty 8 in 1899. The Mikisew Cree continue to live a traditional lifestyle where, even today, most of their members in Fort Chipewyan rely on “country foods” such as fish, birds, and moose for a significant portion of their diet.

    Athabasca Delta is the heart of their traditional lands, which range over much of the area where the Athabasca Oil Sands deposits have been found. Mikisew Cree First Nation shares this territory with four other First Nations that make up the Athabasca Tribal Council. 2900 people make up the Mikisew First Nation. Their governing body is made up of six Councillors and a Chief.

    Since Treaty 8 was signed, many large scale industrial developments have affected Mikisew lands and waters, with the pace of development increasing significantly over the past decades. In 2005, Mikisew made history when it won a landmark case at the Supreme Court of Canada, which established that the Crown had to consult First Nations with historical treaty rights. Mikisew continues to employ a variety of strategies to seek protection of its rights and culture and to create opportunities for the nation. ?The Supreme Court ruling today is the result of a lengthy legal challenge by the Mikisew Cree which began in 2012.

    Click here for a Blog for reference.

    Read more stories on Todayville.com.

     


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    President Todayville Inc., Former VP/GM CTV Edmonton, Honorary Lieutenant Colonel 41 Signal Regiment, Board Member Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award Foundation, Past Board Member United Way of Alberta Capital Region, Musician, Photographer.

    Alberta

    Advanced polls are open and voting is underway!

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  • From the Government of Alberta

    Alberta’s Chief Electoral Officer, Glen Resler, confirms that advance polls are now open.  Advance poll locations are available throughout the province from Tuesday, April 9 to Saturday, April 13.

    Advance poll locations are available to all eligible electors and for the first time are providing a ‘Vote Anywhere’ service, whereby electors can receive the ballot for their electoral divisions, at any location.

    Information about the locations and their hours of operations can be found on Where to Vote cards mailed to electors, in local newspapers and on www.elections.ab.ca.

    Eligible electors are Canadian citizens who reside in Alberta and are at least 18 years of age or older on Election Day.

    To be added to the list of electors, an elector may register at an advance poll or on Election Day by providing authorized identification containing their name and residential address.  A list of authorized identification is on our website: https://www.elections.ab.ca/wp-content/uploads/Authorized-Identification-Poster.pdf

    The ‘Vote Anywhere’ service is only available at the advance polls.  Electors voting on Election Day, must vote at their assigned voting location.  Election Day is Tuesday, April 16, 2019.

    For more information about the provincial general election visit www.elections.ab.ca, call toll free at 1-877-422-VOTE (8683) open weekdays from 8:15 am to 8:00 pm and weekends from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and on voting days from 8:15 am to 8:00 pm, join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

    Elections Alberta is an independent non-partisan office of the Legislative Assembly responsible for administering provincial elections, by-elections and referenda.


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    Alberta

    RCMP officer shoots man near Eckville. ASIRT investigating

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  • From Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT)

    Investigation continues into RCMP officer-involved shooting

    On April 6, 2019, at approximately 8:15 a.m., RCMP were advised of an Eckville, Alberta location where stolen oilfield property might be found.

    An RCMP officer responded to the reported location at the rear of a strip of businesses on the north side of Eckville.

    The officer found four vehicles at the location. As the officer was checking the vehicles, he located a man who appeared to be sleeping in a Ford F250 truck and made cursory observations of the interior of the vehicle. The officer returned to his police vehicle and checked the licence plate number, which came back registered to a different vehicle. The officer requested assistance to his location, placed a spike belt and returned to his police vehicle to await assistance.

    While the officer was waiting for assistance, a confrontation occurred that resulted in the officer discharging his service pistol.

    The man sustained a single gunshot wound that resulted in serious, but not life-threatening injuries. He was treated on scene by EMS, transported to hospital and admitted. He remains in hospital.

    The Ford F250 was determined to have been stolen approximately 5 days earlier from Saskatoon and the licence plate was also determined to have been stolen.

    With the investigation underway, ASIRT will not make any further comment until the matter is concluded.


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