The Southern Chiefs Organization backs the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council Judicial Review against Manitoba
October 19th, 2021: The Interlake Reserves Tribal Council (IRTC) recently received backing from the Southern Chiefs Organization in its judicial review case against Manitoba. The review challenges the permit that allowed the clearing of the right of way (ROW) for the proposed Lake St Martin channel (LSM), as well as the license that authorized the clearing (and construction) of the LSM access road. IRTC previously reported that Manitoba Infrastructure (MI) have started construction of the LSM access road (an upgrade of an existing winter road to a 19.5km all season road). Also, they have cleared about 23 kilometers of trees and vegetation from the proposed LSM right-of-way. In both cases, communities represented by the IRTC were not consulted. The Judicial Review hearing is set to take place on the 8th and 9th of November 2021.
“We are in full support of the IRTC’s decision to go through this judicial review process. When due process is not followed, then we expect the courts to intervene and uphold the law. The constant circumvention of the law by proponents like Manitoba has to stop. So, we need to send a clear message. And we’ll keep sending these messages until the rights of every First Nation community and their members are respected” says Grand Chief Jerry Daniels, Grand Chief of the Southern Chiefs Organization.
Additionally, the judicial review challenges the Minister’s decision to dismiss the Statutory Appeal of the access road license. The Minister of climate and conversation consulted with MI about the appeal and didn’t give the IRTC a chance to respond. The Crown Consultation Report – prepared by MI and never reviewed by the IRTC – is the basis upon which the department of Climate and Conservation concluded consultation was adequate.
Chief Cornell McLean, of Lake Manitoba First Nation and Chair of the IRTC adds, “We are pleased that AFN and SCO have joined us in this cause. For several years now, we have been telling the province that they need to consult and accommodate our communities on the outlet channels project. Instead, they began construction without our knowledge and consent. Speaking out against this culture of not consulting is very critical at this point where we are trying to take steps towards advancing reconciliation. Our goal, as we have said repeatedly, is to bring Manitoba to the table, where we can work as partners”.
The Interlake Reserves Tribal Council Inc. (IRTC) is a partnership of six Manitoba Interlake First Nations working together to advance our collective well-being. IRTC includes Dauphin River, Kinonjeoshtegon, Lake Manitoba, Little Saskatchewan, Peguis and Pinaymootang First Nations.
Karl Zadnik, Chief Executive Officer, IRTC | firstname.lastname@example.org | (204) 795 4747