WHITEHORSE—The Government of Yukon is seeking leave to appeal the December 27, 2012 Ross River Dena Council v. Government of Yukon ruling by the Yukon Court of Appeal.
“Understanding how and when the Yukon government is required to consult with the Ross River Dena Council and other Yukon First Nations is key to ensuring strong relationships with First Nations while retaining a healthy mining industry and a growing economy,” Premier Darrell Pasloski said. “The Government of Yukon believes the Yukon Court of Appeal decision impacts nearly every jurisdiction in Canada and should be addressed by the Supreme Court of Canada.
“The government wants direction from the Supreme Court of Canada on when the duty to consult with First Nations arises in the context of mineral staking,” Pasloski added.
The Yukon Court of Appeal issued declarations that apply to consultation in two matters: disposition of mineral rights and permitting of mineral exploration activities.
The Yukon government will be seeking the Supreme Court of Canada’s guidance on how the duty to consult interacts with the disposition of mineral rights.
“The Yukon government accepts the Yukon Court of Appeal’s decision that there is a duty to consult Ross River Dena Council before mining exploration activities take place,” Pasloski added. “The government will work with First Nations and industry to explore how this consultation can be incorporated into the regime set out in the Quartz Mining Act, particularly as it relates to grassroots exploration.”
The Government of Yukon remains committed to promoting resource investment in the territory. Security of mineral tenure is the foundation of Yukon’s mining regime and the mining industry is an important part of Yukon’s economy, therefore it is important to have certainty regarding the disposition of mineral rights.
The Yukon government expects a decision this summer on whether the Supreme Court of Canada will grant the request to appeal.