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Judicial Review For DFO Salmon Aquaculture Licences

Salmonids Politics +1 more

CANADA - The Kwikwasut'inuxw/Haxwa'mis First Nations have filed for a Judicial Review of eight Finfish Aquaculture Licences within our First Nations' Territories.

These licenses were issued with virtually zero consultation. Further, the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is not complying with Supreme Court of Canada rulings that clearly direct both federal and provincial governments must consult with, and accommodate, First Nations whose rights are affected by government actions.

"It is with deep disappointment that our First Nations must petition the Courts yet again seeking to have our Constitutional rights protected in relationship to the operation of open net fish farms in our peoples' territories that many refer to as the Broughton Archipelago" says Chief Chamberlin.

"Our First Nations have consistently put forward our vision for environmental standards with an eye to protecting our traditional food sources and our vision for these eight licenses has been clearly communicated to both provincial and federal governments since 2007. Sadly, nothing has altered the course set by DFO," said Chief Chamberlin.

"We are seeking to create the space necessary for our vision to be embraced in the Licenses and Licence conditions for fish farms in our territories."

First Nation environmental standards and the safeguarding of traditional food sources are two important principles defined within the United Nations' Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) that Canada has recently adopted.

"DFO's issuances of Finfish Aquaculture Licences in disregard of Supreme Court of Canada rulings and the UNDRIP clearly shows that the Government of Canada, and the DFO specifically, do not intend to embrace the spirit and intent of the UNDRIP. Rather than action, they impart platitudes for the media and general public."