New Directive on First Nations Consultation on Short Term Use of Water Applications

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 | Comments (0)

The BC Oil & Gas Commission (OGC) has released a new directive on First Nations consultation on short term water use applications. Effective October 20th, 2011, the OGC will now be consulting with applicable First Nations on all applications received for short term water use permits. The appropriate level of consultation with each First Nation will be determined, in part, by the proponent proposed classification of "Information Only" or "Notification with Opportunity to Comment" included in each application and based on a given criteria provided by the OGC. To date, the OGC has often failed to provide First Nations with information on water use applications, arguably in violation of the government's legal duty to consult.

This move by the OGC looks to address one of the many concerns expressed by First Nations, environmental organizations and policy analysts over the OGC's authority to issue short term water use permits. The oil and gas sector is the only industry that obtains water use permits from its own regulator; all other sectors must obtain a water license by going through the Water Stewardship Division, currently housed in the Ministry of Environment. ...Read More

National Aboriginal Policing Forum

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 | Comments (0)

2011 - 

Here at PBLI we are preparing for the National Aboriginal Policing Forum, which will be chaired by Inspector Jim Potts, O.O.M. The conference will be held in Ottawa on October 27-29, 2011.  ...Read More

Green Energy Development in Ontario

Friday, August 05, 2011 | Comments (0)

Announced Tuesday, Ontario Energy Minister Brad Duguid has signed a directive that aims to stabilize green energy development in the province. The directive waives the Ontario Power Authority's option to cancel contracts with energy developers under the feed-in tariff program so long as the company has a manufacturing agreement and a domestic content plan. By removing this barrier, companies have greater assurance that their projects will move ahead, assurance that comes in a time of uncertainty for the sector given the upcoming election and opposition campaign pledges to scrap a number of renewable energy projects.

Through the Green Energy Act, the governing Liberals aim to position Ontario as a leader in renewable energy manufacturing and production. Green energy development is a key component of the government's job creation plan. ...Read More

Clarification of the First Nation Tax Exemption from the SCC

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 | Comments (0)

Two new decisions from the Supreme Court of Canada place the First Nations tax exemption on much firmer ground. The recent Bastien and Dube cases, released on Friday, clarify that property of a "commercial" nature remains protected from taxation if it is located on reserve.  The court also rejected the idea that property must help “preserve the traditional way of life in Indian communities” for the Indian Act tax exemption to apply.

 Both cases involved First Nation citizens who had deposited money in bank branches on reserve and had earned interest which Revenue Canada assessed as taxable income, arguing that the interest was generated from off-reserve investment markets “in the commercial mainstream.”  While the bank was located on reserve, the investment income had been generated through investment in Canadian and global markets and, as a result, CRA determined that it was taxable.  The Tax Court and Federal Court of Appeal agreed with CRA.  ...Read More

Specific Claims Tribunal

Thursday, June 30, 2011 | Comments (0)

The Specific Claims Tribunal is Now Accepting Claims

On October 16, 2008 the Specific Claims Tribunal Act received royal assent and in June 2008 the Act was passed by parliament.  The legislation creates an independent tribunal with the power to make binding decisions on the validity of and compensation for specific claims.  The Tribunal replaces the former Indian Claims Commission Process and is part of a new governmental approach to improve and speed up the resolution of specific claims across the country.  The tribunal has authority to address claims up to a value of $150 million.  ...Read More