The Council of Canadians supports efforts to protect the Peel Watershed in northern Yukon from mining.
In her book Boiling Point, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow wrote, “In 2014, the Yukon government announced it would open up a huge swath of the pristine Peel Watershed for mining, an area over half the size of New Brunswick. Shocked First Nations asserted this violates land claim agreements. They joined conservation groups to launch a legal challenge to the plan, saying it betrayed a previously negotiated agreement that would have conserved a much greater landmass and protected the watershed.”
Barlow then notes, “The Supreme Court of Yukon agreed. In November 2015, the court set the planning bar back to 2011, before the development announcements.”
But she adds, “The government said this is not an end to the project, but rather a requirement for it to improve the consultation process with local First Nations. Intent on a more permanent answer, the First Nations and conservation groups sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. In June 2016, the court agreed to hear the case.”
We are now told that the Supreme Court of Canada will hear the case in Ottawa on March 22, World Water Day.
For information on how to watch the live stream of the court proceedings on this issue, please see this Facebook page.
We look forward to a favourable ruling from the court. As Barlow has commented, “It is imperative to protect our water heritage.”
For more information on the Protect the Peel campaign, please click here.
The Council of Canadians first spoke in defence of the Peel Watershed in May 2011. Barlow spoke at a Protect the Peel campaign event in Whitehorse in May 2015.