British Columbia First Nation to present legal strategy addressing impacts of open net-pen fish farms on wild salmon in the Broughton Archipelago

Aug 6th, 2012 4:49 PM

Media Advisory

When: Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 @ 10:30 a.m.

Where: Union of BC Indian Chiefs (Boardroom), Suite 500 - 342 Water St., Vancouver



Who:  
• KAFN Chief Bob Chamberlin, Representative Plaintiff for the KAFN class- action lawsuit
• Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs
• BC First Nation community leaders
• KAFN class-action legal counsel and the KAFN legal counsel, Reidar Mogerman, Partner at Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman

What: The Kwicksutaineuk/Ah-Kwa-Mish (kwik wasoo tea noox & ha Kwa meesh) First Nation (KAFN) will present their response to a recent decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal. They will also provide further context on the KAFN concerns with open net-pen Atlantic salmon farms in their Territory and address these issues in the context of:

• Impacts on wild salmon;
• Implications for First Nations’ ability to protect natural resources; and
• Recent Canadian environmental and fisheries regulatory framework changes and potential impacts.

The media conference will be preceded by ceremonial singing.

To schedule interviews with Chief Chamberlin or Legal Counsel, contact:
Don Huff, Penasi Communications / Environmental Communication Options, at 416-972-7404, on-site in Vancouver (Cell) 416-805-7720 or huffd@ecostrategy.ca

Background

In February 2009, utilizing the Class Proceedings Act of British Columbia, the KAFN sought remedies from the court requiring the defendant, the B.C. Government (represented by the B.C. Minister of Agriculture and Lands) to address the decline in wild salmon in their traditional territory.

To view the original KAFN Statement of Claim go to:
http://huffstrategy.com/MediaManager/Media/Text/1233780246_Microsoft+Word+-+0052+Pleading+Statement+of+Claim+Chamberlin_2.pdf

This was the first class-action lawsuit advanced by a First Nation in Canada to protect Aboriginal fishing rights.  

The Broughton Archipelago is the area of bays, islands and mainland coast adjacent to the northeast side of Vancouver Island. The KAFN claims a constitutionally protected Aboriginal right to fish for wild salmon for food, social and ceremonial purposes within the Broughton Archipelago.

When the class-action was launched, 29 salmon aquaculture sites were authorized by the B.C. Government to operate in the Broughton Archipelago. It is the KAFN’s position that these operations have contributed to a drastic decline in salmon stocks within the region.

The class-action was certified in December 2010 by Justice Slade of the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

To view the December 1, 2010 Decision by the Honourable Mr. Justice Slade, go to:
http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/SC/10/16/2010BCSC1699cor1.htm

An Appeal advanced by the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada (who was later joined as a Defendant) overturned Justice Slade’s decision in May 2012.  

To View the May 3, 2012 Decision by Madame Justice Garson of the British Columbia Court of Appeal, go to:
http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/CA/12/01/2012BCCA0193.htm