Canada’s highest court says federal ministers do not have a duty to consult Indigenous groups when drafting legislation.
The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision Thursday involves an Alberta First Nation, the Mikisew Crew, which argued that the former Conservative government should have consulted them on laws that would affect their treaty rights.
In 2012, the government introduced two omnibus bills proposing changes to Canada’s environmental protection and regulatory processes.
A Federal Court judge said there was a duty to consult the Mikisew because the proposals would arguably affect fishing, trapping and navigation.
A majority of the high court said the law-making process does not amount to Crown conduct that triggers the deeply entrenched duty to confer with Indigenous Peoples.
The Federal Court of Appeal overturned the ruling, saying that including the duty to consult in the legislative process offends the doctrine of the separation of powers and the principle of parliamentary privilege.
(The Canadian Press)