Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

January 23, 2005 14:06 ET

Homalco Win Historic Injunction, Company to Remove Farmed Salmon

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, Environment Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor VANCOUVER, BC--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 23, 2005) - Several high level provincial and federal First Nations leaders will participate in a news conference on January 24th to discuss the recent BC Supreme Court decision ordering Marine Harvest Canada to remove Atlantic Salmon from their fish farm on Homalco territory. In addition, the participants will speak about the Court's decision to grant a judicial review of the process that led to the approval of the fish farm in the first place. The 5-day judicial review process commences, with a broad base of Aboriginal support, in BC Supreme Court on January 24, 2005.

What: News Conference

When: Monday, January 24, 2005 at 12:30pm

Where: 5th floor, 342 Water Street, Vancouver, Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) office

Speakers:
Shawn Atleo - Assembly of First Nations, BC Region
Chief Darren Blaney - Xwémalhkwu (Homalco) First Nation
Eric Blueschke - Georgia Strait Alliance
Chief Bill Cramner - Namgis First Nation, Musgamagw Tsawataineuk Tribal Council
Dave Porter - First Nations Summit
Ed John - First Nations Summit
Chief Stewart Phillip - Union of BC Indian Chiefs

For more information about the rulings please see attached backgrounder.
==========================================
January 24, 2005

Judicial Review of Church House Fish Farm Site

The Judicial Review of the process that, in the fall of 2002, led to the approval of the Church House fish farm site commences today in B.C. Supreme Court. The site, which is located directly in front of the traditional village and reserve of the Homalco First Nation, known as Church House, is at the mouth of Bute Inlet and on the migration route of wild salmon that spawn in Southgate, Homathco and Orford Rivers in Bute Inlet.

The provincial conduct with regard to consultation and accommodation that is being challenged in the Judicial Review is regarding a license amendment to introduce Atlantic salmon into production at the Marine Harvest fish farm at the mouth of Bute Inlet.

On December 24, 2004, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Ian Pitfield ruled that, in light of the Haida decision from the Supreme Court of Canada, the circumstances surrounding the Province's conduct with respect to consultation to move Atlantic salmon so close to the mouth of Bute Inlet demonstrated that there is a good prima facie case for Homalco to argue that they were not properly consulted. He also found that there could be irreparable harm as a result of moving Atlantic salmon into a watershed such as the Bute Inlet and that this irreparable harm should be avoided until a full hearing on the duty to consult was held.

In addition to the Judicial Review, Justice Pitfield also granted the Homalco an interim injunction, ordering Marine Harvest, the fish-farming arm of the Dutch trans-national Nutreco, to halt Atlantic salmon transfers to the Church House site and remove any fish put there after the Homalco filed its action on December 22.

The ruling of Justice Pitfield was upheld on January 14, 2005, when Justice Braidwood of the BC Court of Appeal denied the application of Marine Harvest Canada, to appeal the interim injunction. The Province supported Marine Harvest in seeking leave to appeal. /For further information: Chief Darren Blaney, Xwémalhkwu (Homalco) First Nation - 250-287-0204 Eric Blueschke, Georgia Strait Alliance – 250-334-6482 Chief Bill Cramner, Namgis First Nation – 250-974-8460 Shawn Atleo, Assembly of First Nations, BC Region – 250-720-9003 Dave Porter, First Nations Summit – 604-990-9939 Ed John, First Nations Summit – 604-990-9939 Chief Stewart Phillip, Union of BC Indian Chiefs – 250-490-5314 Peter Grant, Hutchins Grant and Associates – 604-209-1662 (cell) or 604-685-1229/ IN: ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, FISHERIES, FOOD, POLITICS

Contact Information

  • Darren Blaney, Chief, Homalco Indian Band; Georgia Strait Alliance
    Primary Phone: 250-287-0204