Province to Study Supreme Court Ruling

first_imgThe Nova Scotia government will review a Supreme Court of Canada ruling, released today, Dec. 7, in two New Brunswick cases involving three aboriginal men who claimed the right to harvest trees for their own domestic use. The country’s top court ruled that the men, who had been charged under the New Brunswick Crown Lands and Forests Act, have an aboriginal right to harvest trees for domestic use on provincial Crown lands traditionally harvested by the bands involved. But it said this is a communal right that requires the authority of the aboriginal community, and is subject to regulation. It restricts the harvest to domestic use and prohibits the sale, barter or trade of the wood. “This is a New Brunswick case, so we will be reviewing the decision and determine the potential implications for Nova Scotia,” said David Morse, Minister of Natural Resources. “We are fortunate to have the Made in Nova Scotia negotiations process to address treaty and aboriginal rights issues.” The process, which involves the Mi’kmaq, Nova Scotia and the federal government, began with the signing of the Umbrella Agreement in 2002. This will lead to full negotiations. Forestry is one of the topics that will be covered. Nova Scotia was one of several intervenors in the case, which involved three New Brunswick men — two Maliseet from Woodstock and a Mi’kmaq from the Pabineau Reserve. The 36-page decision was written by Mr. Justice Michel Bastarache of New Brunswick.last_img read more