Monday, October 10, 2011

 

Delgamuukw has just been dealt a critical blow. Now the Asia Pacific Gateway and all BC plans for the Haisla lands such as Enbridge and tankers need no consultation.

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To access the embedded links, please visit Merv Ritchie's article. See also the Merv Ritchie explanations at bottom.


DELGAMUUKW DEFEATED, BASIS TO CONSULT ON ENVIRONMENT IS GONE

Merv Ritchie
Commentary - 10th October 2011

The foundation of the Supreme Court of Canada’s appeal ruling on Delgamuukw has just been dealt a critical blow. Now the Asia Pacific Gateway and  all BC plans for the Haisla lands such as Enbridge and tankers need no consultation. Today the basis, the foundation of Delgamuukw and the requirement for consultation no longer has validity.

The Gitxsan Wet’suwet’en trial of Delgamuukw vs the BC Government had the verbal testimony and authority of the First Nations elders and Hereditary Chiefs held in the highest regard. The recent Haisla trial between the Hereditary Chiefs and the elected band Council has just tossed all this consideration into the waste basket.

This decision will likely, in the short and long term, remove any need for consultation as the Court has just determined the verbal submissions of the Haisla elders and Chiefs were, though credible, not worthy of any historical factual knowledge for the Court.

All the First Nations who wish to use Delgamuukw and other subsequent rulings to protect their traditional territories, their rivers and lands from the Enbridge pipeline, destructive mining projects such as the destruction of Fish Lake and anything else are now on notice; the court has determined the culture is no longer recognized simply because elders and Chiefs testified.

The Government of BC and the Canadian Federal  Government of Stephen Harper have just been delivered an early Christmas gift, just in time for the Enbridge JRP hearings and rulings. First Nations culture no longer counts.

The following is how the Gitxsan described the case from the 1980’s and 90’s: Source here.

The plaintiffs in the Delgamuukw case were 35 Gitxsan and 13 Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs. The land title action was the longest running First  Nations land claim court case in Canadian history.

The trial before the B.C. Supreme Court began in 1987 and was unique in that Gitxsan and Wet'suwet'en elders took the stand to testify in their language about their distinctive culture and relationship to the land. In other similar trials, this evidence was provided secondhand through the eyes of non-Native "experts" such as anthropologists.

After the BC Court ruled against them the case went to the Supreme Court of Canada, and again from the Gitxsan;

Many of the arguments the Gitxsan made were accepted by the judges, including the fact that the province had no authority to extinguish aboriginal rights and the necessity of creating a new test for  aboriginal title.

Today all First Nations people are facing the same issues once again. This most recent ruling by another BC Court Judge dismissed the evidence by the elders and the Hereditary Chiefs.  

The Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en did not pursue a second case. It costs a significant amount of money to pursue such an action. Therefore, on behalf of the BC and Canadian Governments it appears the Haisla through former Chief Councillor Steve Wilson, got to take the lead. This new action could be considered to have been started, or at least initiated, at the request of Gordon Campbell. Evidence shows he pushed Wilson to overrule the elders and Hereditary Chiefs to advance projects on Haisla traditional territories.

Justice Punnett referred to the rulings of the Supreme Court in paragraph 406 on page 98, continuing on page 99 in paragraphs 407 and 408, of his decision;

[406] Proof of the existence of the alleged court requires consideration of the evidence to be presented in light of the requirements set out in R.  v. Van der Peet, [1996] 2 S.C.R. 507; Delgamuukw v. British Columbia, [1997] 3 S.C.R. 1010; and Mitchell v. M.N.R., 2001 SCC 33. In those cases, the court explained that trial courts must employ the rules of evidence in a manner that is sensitive to the inherent difficulties in adjudicating Aboriginal claims.


[407] I take from these cases that the flexible and sensitive application of the rules of evidence cannot have the effect of reducing the burden of proof faced by the party seeking to prove a fact in issue. The burden upon that party remains the same as in civil litigation generally.

[408] The evidence in support of the existence of this traditional court was sparse. No documentary record was presented. The evidence was presented by individuals considered to be elders, which I understand to be a term referring to those older members of the band who are considered to have wisdom and who are keepers of its traditional, cultural and historical knowledge.

Even though the elders and Hereditary Chiefs were discussed in great detail; their names and house groups, how the Chiefs conducted their affairs and their authority over the band council Justice Punnett stated the following;

[411] There was no evidence respecting how this body functioned, the source of its authority, or what custom law it followed.

Then in the following paragraph, 415, he states how the testimony by the elders was accepted by the entire Haisla Nation present in the Court room, those on both sides of the conflict.

[415] I pause to note that the elders, who are not parties to this action and who were called to give evidence on their knowledge of the alleged court, testified with the gravitas of elders and there was a palpable acceptance by those in the courtroom of their wisdom.

Yet Justice Punnett concludes this testimony was not good enough.

This is almost exactly the same basis for the Appeal decision of the Supreme Court of Canada to overturn the original Delgamuukw decision; that this evidence needs to be considered.

It may well be the BC Provincial Court Justice system, after watching the Hereditary Chiefs fight undefended by legal Counsel, recognized they wouldn’t have any money to take this to the Supreme Court of Canada let alone launch an appeal.

And if the BC Court is successful with this expectation, the decision will stand. Following that all BC mining corporations, Coal bed Methane extraction processes, crude oil tankers and pipelines will be fair game. No longer will the First Nations be able to bring their elders and Hereditary Chiefs into court to defend their claims to their traditional territories.

That is exactly what the fight was all about on the Haisla land. It had nothing to do with defamation; it had to do with the rights of the Elders, trapline holders and Hereditary Chiefs to defend their traditional way of life.

Stephen Harper's canoe has landed.



Full Court ruling with details and historical record of trial process here.   

http://www.rupertdaily.ca/show2160a/DELGAMUUKW_DEFEATED_BASIS_TO_CONSULT_ON_ENVIRONMENT_IS_GONE

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Merv Ritchie
Box 154
Terrace, BC
V8G 4A6
www.TerraceDaily.ca
www.KitimatDaily.ca
www.RupertDaily.ca
www.HazeltonDaily.ca
www.SmithersDaily.ca

Office 778-634-3434
Fax 778-634-3435

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Someone asked Merv Ritchie for more. This is what he posted: 

DO YOU HAVE A LEGAL OPINION ON DELGAMUUKW?
Terrace Daily - Oct. 10, 2011

Question: Do you have a legal opinion that supports Merv's column regarding the End of Delgamuukw? I'm a freelance journalist and founding editor of . . .

Merv's full reply: We have no legal opinions either way. We have studied Delgamuukw extensively and express this opinion based on the appelate courts statements regarding the presentation and acceptance of oral evidence, that which was presented in the Haisla and Delgamuukw trials.

Here is some text from the Delgamuukw appeal ruling respecting these matters;

(Remember the Delgamuukw case was a traditional land issue and the Haisla case was a traditional court issue. Both required oral historical evidence of the existance of such.)

Read on ... HERE:

http://www.kitimatdaily.ca/show5041a0x300y1z/DO_YOU_HAVE_A_LEGAL_OPINION_ON_DELGAMUUKW

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Comments:
This is indeed extremely bad news for those people living in the central part of B.C.,First Nations and other citizens as well.

What kind of treaties were negotiated by the Campbell gov't? Did the famous Nishga/Nass Valley First Nations sign a tighter treaty with the province or will they all suffer the ultimate dominant culture boot crunch?

The Supreme Court of
Canada does not, obviously recognize nor honour an oral indigenous culture that inhabited and truly lived in harmony with the environment of this continent since pre-history.

I am ashamed, as a British Columbian and as a Canadian that a B.C. premier and a National prime minister and a Supreme Court of Canada of learned judges would have such little understanding of the future health of this planet and those yet unborn that also have rights under the Charter of rights and freedoms in this land.

The hereditary chiefs and elders were speaking in their oral tradition and ancient wisdom to protect the land for at least 7 generations to come. Ask any elder of any First Nation in B.C.; they know that 7 generations into the future are always brought into consideration for decision making.

There are all kinds of reasons for joining "Occupy______ Street( put in whatever name in the empty space of a transnational corporation that is stealing exorbitant profits and resources and holding governments to ransoms)
 
Bc hydro wants you to save with 1billion smart meter program while selling 9000 gigawatts to condense natural gas in one giant freezer on the coast while .out of country students and workers fill vacancies.raw coal raw gas raw log raw deal.
 
The judicial system especially in BC is totally corrupt. I don't for a moment think Harper wasn't involved. Canada has become so rotten with corruption, because of Harper.

The First Nations Bands all across Canada are now united. This could be the start of a revolution. They won't tolerate this siting down. The abuse of the governments towards them is pretty terrible, and has been for absolute decades.

There is a site called Let Freedom Rain. They say Harper was a neo-Nazi. He was a member of the Northern Foundation and the Reform Party in 1989. I had never heard of this before. I stumbled onto this site, quite by accident.

Harper is a dictator, that's for sure, and so is Campbell. Harper said to Christy, no BC HST, no ship building contract. Anyone opposing Campbell lost their jobs.
 
One reason to OCCUPY (i.e. take back our democracy) is to bring about Justice Reform. It's not just in aboriginal rights that corruption has taken root, it's everywhere in Canada’s legal system, and especially in BC.

Shakespeare may have been right all along - "the first thing we do is kill all the lawyers".

But, lest I be accused of counseling violence (which I am not), perhaps we should start with doing away with the "self-regulated" status of the legal profession, like Australia and the UK have done (and some U.S. states). They did it because self-regulation doesn't work; it simply results in corrupt practices and a sense of entitlement and being "above the law", which is precisely what "self-regulation" is.

The current system of oversight (i.e. none) has brought corruption to all of Canada's courts. A law degree is no guarantee of strong ethics and morals. These are human beings like any other, and that means a certain percentage will not behave in morally upstanding ways unless there are constraints. And, there are no constraints.

The Law Society serves its own; not the public, despite the amount of PR they shovel out of their plush offices. The Canadian Judicial Council is another self-serving body. Every once in a while they throw the book at someone just to make it look like they’re doing a good job of policing their buddies, but we never get to see all the myriad lies, cheating, reprehensible conduct and criminal acts that they turn a blind eye to or support. These are elite, entitled criminals masquerading as “honourable”. No different than the Wall Street Sharks who circle around the public trough seeking more largesse.

The legal system desperately needs citizen oversight. We need to establish a citizen's counsel that would sit in judgment of judges and lawyers. Not a politically-appointed body either because friends of the ruling party always get in. Elected people, with strict limits (or set government funding) for election campaigns Big Money won’t guarantee a win.

Those honourable judges who may still exist must rise up and help us restore justice. We need to OCCUPY THE COURTS until justice walks back in the door.
 
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Holy Ratzinger!

Have a look:

http://letfreedomrain.blogspot.com/2011/09/vancouver-club-and-pedophilia.html

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... and then there are these "6 reviews" of the food, surroundings, service, and heritage at The Vancouver Club ...

http://www.yelp.ca/biz/the-vancouver-club-vancouver

So ... it became "The Olympic Club" during Gordo's games, huh?

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http://www.cupe.bc.ca/news/2303
 
"A law degree is no guarantee of strong ethics and morals"

Morals or ethics were never necessary to obtain a degree, but once were required to join the bar. However since Erik Bornmannnnn is now allowed to practice law in Ontario, that is no longer the case, apparently!

Another show proceeding begins today, the about the missing women, presided over by StoneWally, who was AG during some of the time under review.

"It's a sham inquiry" spokesperson for one of the marginalized groups that has withdrawn because of the unfair advantage held by the government, judicial system and police who are being provided with lawyers, on our public dime, up the ying yang - while the victims and their families are on their own
 
"A law degree is no guarantee of strong ethics and morals"

Morals or ethics were never necessary to obtain a degree, but once were required to join the bar. However since Erik Bornmannnnn is now allowed to practice law in Ontario, that is no longer the case, apparently!

Another show proceeding begins today, the about the missing women, presided over by StoneWally, who was AG during some of the time under review.

"It's a sham inquiry" spokesperson for one of the marginalized groups that has withdrawn because of the unfair advantage held by the government, judicial system and police who are being provided with lawyers, on our public dime, up the ying yang - while the victims and their families are on their own
 
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