The B.C. Court of Appeal allowed an appeal brought by the Sechelt Indian Band relating to whether provincial legislation was applicable to a dispute over a rent increase for lessees of a manufactured home park on Sechelt land. In June 2012, Mr. Justice Silverman rejected the arguments of the Sechelt that the provincial Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act did not apply to Sechelt lands due to the doctrine of interjurisdictional immunity, or that the Act was inoperative due to the doctrine of paramountcy. He held that the dispute was about “money”, not “lands”, and therefore within provincial jurisdiction. The unreported decision of Silverman J. was summarized in our e-Newsletter of 12 April 2013.

The B.C. Court of Appeal held that the essence of the underlying dispute concerns the management and possession of Sechelt lands, which remain “Lands reserved for the Indians” within the meaning of s. 91(24) of the Constitution Act. This is a core element of federal jurisdiction under s. 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867, and is a matter that lies at the core of Indianness. In consequence, it is impermissible for provincial legislation to interfere with this matter.

Decisions available here.

Author

Kenneth J. Tyler 
KTyler@blg.com
604.640.4185

Expertise

Aboriginal Law