Local Skeena MP Nathan Cullen says today’s ruling by the supreme court granting the Tsilhqot’in rights and title to land in the interior of B.C. will have significant impacts on resource development across the province.
Cullen says the ruling will bring confidence to investors of companies that have been conducting good First Nations consultation and will be a nail in the coffin for companies like Enbridge who are trying to ram projects through.
“If you have built your project properly, if you have tried to include local communities and First Nations rights and title this ruling is very supportive for you. If you’ve got a regressive model for development than this is a very, very bad day because your project just became very shaky and your investors won’t feel so confident.”
While the court ruled that the Tsilhqot’in have the right to use and profit from the seventeen hundred square kilometers of land it stated that development can occur on the land without consent if it is substantially in the public interest.
Cullen says today’s ruling will be brought up in future legal battles between First Nations and companies like Enbridge.
He says from this ruling forward if companies and government continue to ignore the wishes of First Nations it will negatively impact future economic development.