Message From Team North® Leader

For five years now, BLG’s Team North® has been dedicated to providing relevant legal services to Canada’s North. Why is relevancy so important? Because doing business in the North is nothing like doing business in the South, and we believe that to be effective, legal services need to be provided with an understanding of the environment in which they are to be acted upon. We are in the North frequently to attend hearings, client meetings, conferences, and to go on site visits, among other things. Moreover, our entire team is kept up to date by regular updates on news items and briefs on legal matters related to business in the North. We have regular Team North meetings to share information and discuss the issues that affect our clients in the North. We are committed to producing two client newsletters per year (this is our second of 2013), as well as internal newsletters to ensure that our clients and members of our firm are kept current on the legal implications of issues and events, in an effort to understand the challenges and opportunities of Canada’s North.

And now, as part of our continuing dedication to relevant legal services in the North, I am delighted to announce two new team members:

Nadir André is a member of the Innu First Nation of Matimekush-Lac John and of the Québec Bar. Nadir has extensive experience in Aboriginal law. He has advised several First Nations clients and Aboriginal organizations across Canada regarding joint ventures and other commercial activities related to First Nations. He is a regular speaker on northern development and organizes commercial missions to the Canadian North. Nadir can be reached at nandre@blg.com.

Marie-Christine Gagnon is a member of the Innu First Nation of Pessamit and has a focus on Aboriginal law. She has conducted consultations and negotiations for agreements related to First Nations, and more specifically, to the development of natural resources on Aboriginal lands, in addition to advising Aboriginal businesses on matters related to incorporation and corporate governance.

Nadir and Marie-Christine are part of Team North® as well as our Aboriginal focus group. Please feel free to contact them to introduce yourself, or if you would like them to visit you the next time they are in the North, please let them know.

Adam Chamberlain
Toronto
416.367.6172
achamberlain@blg.com

 

Ross River

The Supreme Court of Canada has decided not to hear an appeal from Yukon relating to consultation with Aboriginal groups and the “free entry” mining regime. The Yukon Court of Appeal, in a December 2012 decision, made a declaration that the Government of Yukon has a duty to notify and, where appropriate, consult with the Ross River Dena Council (RRDC) before allowing any mining exploration activities to take place on lands claimed by the RRDC. More significantly, the Court of Appeal declared that Yukon has a duty to consult with the RRDC in determining whether mineral rights on Crown lands within the RRDC land title claim are to be made available to third parties under the provisions of the Quartz Mining Act, S.Y. 2003, c. 14. This decision went beyond the trial judge’s decision in November 2011 that Yukon could satisfy its duty to consult by providing monthly notice to RRDC of newly-recorded mining claims within its traditional territory.

The Court of Appeal decision fell short of the relief sought by the RRDC, which was a declaration that the Government of Yukon had a duty to consult them prior to the recording of mineral claims under the Quartz Mining Act. Further, the RRDC had sought a declaration that any future mineral claims recorded within the land claim area, if recorded without prior consultation, are “void”. Nevertheless, the declaration made by the Yukon Court of Appeal has been interpreted by some observers as threatening the “free entry” mining regime, and that it will require the Crown to consult with Aboriginal groups before mining claims can be recorded.

The actual declaration made by the Yukon Court of Appeal did not go so far. The Court of Appeal did not declare that Yukon had a duty to consult prior to the recording of mineral claims. Instead, it ordered Yukon to consult with the RRDC concerning which lands would be made available for staking claims. The Court of Appeal agreed that the “free entry” system under the Quartz Mining Act has considerable value in maintaining a viable mining industry and encouraging prospecting, and that there is a long tradition in Yukon of acquiring mineral claims by staking. The Court of Appeal held, however, that Yukon’s mining regime had to be modified in order for the Crown to act in accordance with its constitutional duties. Statutory regimes that do not allow for consultation or for the accommodation of Aboriginal claims are “defective”. The Court of Appeal held that a “more elaborate system must be engrafted onto the regime set out in the Quartz Mining Act” and allow for an appropriate level of consultation before Aboriginal claims are adversely affected. The Court would not specify precisely how Yukon’s regime could be brought into conformity with the law of Aboriginal rights.

The Court of Appeal acknowledged that, to some extent, consultation had already taken place in the 1980s in the process leading up to lands claimed by the RRDC being protected from staking. RRDC  is one of the Aboriginal groups in Yukon that has not entered into a Final Agreement with the  Crown, and it continues to claim Aboriginal title to a large area of land in the southeastern region of the Territory. Yukon gave interim protection to the RRDC’s unresolved claims by making nearly 4800 sq. km of land unavailable to staking under the Quartz Mining Act. The Court of Appeal was not prepared to conclude that such consultations, and the interim protection provided by Yukon in 1988, met the legal framework formulated by the Supreme Court of Canada. The Court of Appeal was also not prepared to dictate how the Government of Yukon could redesign the legislative regime for mining to accommodate Aboriginal claims, and left it to the Yukon Legislature to fashion a suitable response.

In February 2013, Yukon sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in relation to some aspects of the Court of Appeal decision. Yukon decided not to seek leave to appeal in regards to the Court’s declaration concerning mining exploration activities. Previously, the holder of a mineral claim that fell within Class 1 of the Quartz Mining Land Use Regulation could undertake fairly significant mineral exploration activities without notice to either the government or Aboriginal groups. The Government of Yukon decided to amend its legislation in response to the Court of Appeal decision, and sought public comments.

The leave application filed by the Government of Yukon with the Supreme Court of Canada related only to the Court of Appeal’s other declaration, and how the duty to consult can co-exist with a “free entry” system. Similar issues had been raised in a proceeding in Ontario (Wahgoshig First Nation v. Ontario), but that case came to an end in early 2013 after amendments to Ontario’s Mining Act,R.S.O. 1990, c. M.14 came into force. The new legislation in Ontario created a process for lands of “Aboriginal cultural significance” being withdrawn from the category of lands open to staking. Due to the new legislative regime, the dispute in the Wahgoshig proceeding was rendered moot.

The dismissal of the Government of Yukon’s leave application (and the discontinuance of the Ontario proceeding) will not allow for these issues to be clarified at this time. Since the “free entry” regime is found across Canada, it is likely that these issues will come before the courts again. Yukon’s Legislature now has the task of redesigning its mining regime in accordance with the Court of Appeal’s decision.

Scott Kerwin
Vancouver
604.640.4029
skerwin@blg.com

 

The 2013 Integrated Fisheries Harvesting Management Plan for Narwhal

In order to satisfy Canada’s obligations under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (“CITES”), Canada has been required to evaluate the health of the narwhal population in Canada’s Arctic waters. The result of this endeavour has been the 2013 Integrated Fisheries Harvesting Management Plan for Narwhal (“IFMP”). As the only legal harvesters of narwhal in Canada, the sustainability of the Inuit narwhal hunt has been the central issue in the development of the IFMP.

In an announcement issued jointly on June 14, 2013, by the Honourable Keith Ashford, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, then Minister of Health and Canadian Northern Economic Development, and the Honourable Peter Kent, then Minister of Environment, the Government of Canada affirmed that hunting of narwhal and the sale of narwhal products on the world market by Nunavut Inuit would continue for the 2013 season.

In a landscape of complicated jurisdictional issues, further complicated by the constitutionally protected nature of the rights of Inuit to harvest,the rights Inuit have to be part of the wildlife management process, as well as the existence of overlapping Aboriginal rights, the domestic efforts to meet Canada’s international obligations has been far from simple and straightforward. The 2013 IFMP, points to the ability and benefits of Governments working in partnership with Aboriginal rights holders to manage the resources (in this case narwhal) in a manner that benefits all those with an interest.

In order for Canada to comply with CITES, the existing management of the narwhal harvest, which has been managed by way of a quota system, as established under the Fisheries Acts and the Marine Mammal Regulations since 1996, changes were required in the following areas:

  1. Managing narwhal by known summering areas, and taking into account harvests from mixed stock during annual migration;
  2. Harmonizing the narwhal management further with the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA); and
  3. Implementing additional management measures to address management issues and strengthen co-management of the fishery, which include:
    1. Effective sub-allocation of the harvest to individual communities;
    2. Measures to close fisheries when harvest quotas are achieved;
    3. Measures to monitor the number of narwhal landings;
    4. Measures to improve tusk traceability; and
    5. Measures to decrease the number of narwhal struck (wounded by fishermen) but lost (not landed).

In December, 2010, the Canadian Science and Advisory Secretariat (“CSAS”) found that for some Management Units, the total allowable landed catch (TALC) numbers within the Unit were greatly exceeded by the actual catch numbers. Thereafter, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ (“DFO’s”) CITES Scientific Authority, on advice of CSAS, stopped issuing a Non-Detriment Finding (NDF) for landed catches to most regions in Nunavut. Without an NDF, Article IV of CITES stipulates that export permits cannot be granted.

In January of 2011, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (“NTI”) filed an application for the judicial review of the DFO decision to stop issuing NDF’s for all narwhal stocks and populations in Nunavut, and essentially banning the export of narwhal, and in particular, their tusks.

In March 2011, the DFO, in conjunction with NTI and Nunavut Wildlife Management Board (“NWMB”), conducted a series of consultations with communities in Nunavut in March of 2011, to present the proposed management plan and receive feedback.

In June 2011, NTI and the DFO came to an alternative resolution to NTI’s application for judicial review and agreed that pursuant to the NLCA the DFO would in the future act by consulting Inuit in decisions that impact them.

In August 2011, the DFO conducted a narwhal management workshop in Iqaluit where participants included representatives of NTI, NWMB, and other regional wildlife boards and organizations. The parties agreed to move forward with the proposed IFMP. Between August and March 2013 the parties were able to come to an agreement on a third draft of the IFMP.

In March of 2013, a Conference of the Parties to CITES was held in Thailand, at which the proposed IFMP for narwhal was presented. By June of this year, the DFO confirmed the IFMP for narwhal.

Although not without its criticisms, the IFMP represents one of the biggest tests to the co- management system of wildlife management as established under the NLCA. And for the parties involved it signifies a great accomplishment.

In January 2013, Vice President Eetoolook  of the NTI expressed optimism in relation to the IFMP, saying “At times, the development of the plan was very difficult, but in the end, Inuit now have a management plan in place that we feel meets our needs and respects our harvesting rights.”

In addition to the impact on Nunavut Inuit,the IFMP for narwhal has included, for the first time, provisions allowing for a narwhal harvest in the Nunavik Marine Region. A separate agreement between NTI and Nunavik, approved by the Minister of the DFO on May 9, 2013, gives the Nunavik communities of Ivujivik, Kangiqsujuaq, Quaqtaq, Salluit a shared quota of ten narwhal whales.

The process used to develop the IFMP for Narwhal brings to mind the words of the late Inuit elder and author, Mariano Aupilaarjuk:

“The wildlife up here cannot be treated like domestic animals. They were given to us for our use. At times caribou are very hard to come by and then all of a sudden there is an abundance of them. They are like plants, sometimes they are here and sometimes they are gone. If we are good managers, they are not going to disappear. If we don’t manage them, there will be hardship. We have to constantly take care of each other and it is the same for wildlife. This is a strong maligaq [law] for Inuit. If we followed this we would be in a much better situation. If educated people included Inuit knowledge when making decisions, the management of wildlife would be much better, even long after we elders are dead.”

As concerns over the health of Arctic animals gains attention on the world stage, the way Canada and Inuit have engaged in management of narwhal, within the mechanism afforded in the NLCA and with consideration to Inuit knowledge, paves the way for addressing concerns domestically and internationally.

Qajaq Robinson is a member of our Team North, Aboriginal and Litigation groups in our Ottawa office.

 

Arctic Council Adopts Marine Oil Pollution Agreement

In addition to seeing Canada assume the chair of the Arctic Council for the next two years, the recent Arctic Council’s Ministerial Meeting at Kiruna, Sweden, adopted an important legal text, the “Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic”. This is the second major international agreement that has been developed under Arctic Council auspices, the first being the Search and Rescue Agreement concluded at Nuuk, Greenland, in 2011.

The Marine Oil Pollution Agreement, signed on  May 15, 2013, aims to strengthen cooperation, coordination and mutual assistance on oil pollution preparedness and response among the eight Arctic Council Member States. It applies to defined waters in each of those States. In Canada’s case, the Agreement applies to marine areas above 60 degrees North. Each State Party is required to maintain a national system for responding to oil pollution incidents, including a national contingency plan providing for organizational relationship of the various bodies involved (public or private), taking account of relevant laws and guidelines. The Parties must establish a minimum level of pre-positioned oil spill combating equipment; a program of exercises for oil pollution response organizations and the training or relevant personnel; plans and communications capabilities for responding to an oil pollution incident; and a mechanism or arrangement to coordinate the response. Each national response system must designate the competent national authority responsible for preparedness and response; a national 24-hour operation contact point responsible for receiving and transmitting oil pollution reports; and an authority entitled to act on behalf of the party to request assistance or decide to render it if requested.

There are provisions on notification to be given by Parties on receipt of information about oil pollution or possible oil pollution, including an assessment of the incident and its possible consequences, and action the Parties have taken or intend to take in response. Monitoring is required, in order to identify oil pollution incidents and facilitate efficient and timely response operations, and to minimize adverse environmental impacts. Parties are permitted to request assistance from one another to respond to such incidents and are required to cooperate in providing assistance (advice, technical support, equipment or personnel). The movement of ships, aircraft and other modes of transportation engaged in responding to oil pollution incidents or in transporting personnel, cargoes, materials and equipment required for that purpose, into, through and out of the territory of each Party, must be facilitated. The Agreement lays down principles dealing with the reimbursement of costs of assistance by State Parties that request such assistance and those who provide it on their own initiative. These principles are subject to any applicable international agreements and national law, especially on liability and compensation for oil pollution damage. Parties may also cooperate with non-Parties where doing so contributes to activities envisaged in the Agreement.

The Agreement also calls for Parties to cooperate and exchange information serving to improve the effectiveness of oil pollution preparedness and response operations and to make such information publicly available. Joint exercises and training are also encouraged. Operational Guidelines are to be developed on specific matters, to assist in implementing the Agreement, and the Parties are required to meet periodically to review issues related to its implementation.

This Agreement will hopefully serve to better manage commercial marine traffic and the response to a spill in the fragile environment. The Agreement’s passage is timely: even in the few short months since its adoption, commercial navigation in the Arctic has made significant progress. This September, the “Yong Sheng” became the first Chinese commercial vessel to reach Europe via the Northern Sea Route. The trip, completed in 33 days, is a marked reduction over the 48 days the same journey would typically take via the Suez Canal. Given that estimates place savings by shipping through the Arctic at between $60-120 billion annually, there is good reason to suspect that Chinese and other exporters in Asia will be increasingly considering the Arctic sea routes in the coming years.

Damian Hornich is a member of our Team North, Insurance, Municipal and Class Actions groups in our Toronto office. He can be reached at:

Damian Hornich
Toronto
416.367.6247
dhornich@blg.com

 

Quebec Unveils Its Vision Of “A North For All”

On May 7 in Chibougamau, Quebec Premier Pauline Marois unveiled the Parti Québécois’ revised vision of the Plan Nord of the former Liberal Government, now called “A North for All”. In general, this new northern vision is not radically different from that of the previous government, although it lays slightly more emphasis on the social development of Nunavik. In this regard, the Province intends to spend close to $868 million over the next five years on road construction, low-cost housing, parks and multi-purpose centres for vocational training. The  building of some 226 moderately-priced dwellings is planned for Nunavik between  now and 2016, at a cost of $61 million. The municipalities of the region will benefit from some $200 million to pay for projects necessitated by the development envisaged. A new agency, to be called the Secrétariat au développement nordique,will coordinate these various projects and the work of the various provincial departments and agencies involved in turning the vision into a reality. The new agency will be under the direction of the Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Martine Ouellet, assisted by the Minster responsible for the Northern Quebec Region, Hon. Alexandre Cloutier, and three other Members of the National Assembly representing northern ridings. It will replace the Société du Plan Nord proposed in the original Plan Nord.

The new plan has scaled down the Liberals’ projection of $80 billion over twenty-five years. And instead of setting aside 20% of the territory concerned as protected areas (where no mining or other development activities would be permitted), the new target for 2020 is reduced to 12%. The projected new rail line from Sept-Iles to the Labrador Trench with its rich resource potential, which was to have been built by CN and financed by the Caisse de dépôt et de placement, has been shelved. Minister Ouellet has promised a review of any new rail line. More of the cost of the new road to access the Renard Mine of Stornoway Diamond Corporation has been shifted to the company, saving taxpayers $125 million. Uncertainty surrounds the planned addition of 3,000 megawatts of hydroelectric capacity, with 300 megawatts of wind energy and 200 megawatts of other renewable energy, as Hydro-Québec has a surplus of generating capacity at present.

The announcement of “A North for All” came one day after the Quebec Finance Minister, Hon. Nicolas Marceau, announced proposals for new mining royalties under an amended Mining Act. The proposal is to tax either production at 1% on the first $80 million of ore extracted, rising to 4% beyond that level, or, if greater, mining profits at 16% on profit margins up to 35%, and then at progressively higher rates of up to 28%. The new rules, if implemented, are expected to raise $370 million, about 15% more than under Quebec’s current mining royalty regime. Industry spokesmen have criticized these proposals, especially at a time of falling prices and declining demands for many minerals on world markets. Nor are the First Nations affected too pleased, insisting that the new grand design does not treat them as nations with rights to manage their traditional lands and resources, but only as local communities.

The amended plan for northern development in Quebec seems destined to face obstacles of various kinds on the road to realization.

Yvan Houle is a member of our Team North, Construction, Aboriginal Law and Product Liability groups in our Montreal office. He can be reached at:

Yvan Houle
Montreal
514.954.3146
yhoule@blg.com

 

Splitting the Mining Regulations For The Northwest Territories And Nunavut

A proposal is underway to create a separate set of mining regulations for each of Nunavut and Northwest Territories.

At present, Northwest Territories and Nunavut Mining Regulations, enacted under the federal Territorial Lands Act, govern many aspects of mining on Crown lands in those two Territories. These Regulations govern royalty payments, licensing, prospecting permits, mineral claims, mineral leases, etc.

The Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development is proposing to split the existing Regulations in two, resulting in the Northwest Territories Mining Regulations and the Nunavut Mining Regulations. Part of the motivation for the split is to prepare the legal foundation for the NWT devolution, scheduled for April 1, 2014. Another reason is to facilitate implementation of a new online mineral tenure acquisition system in Nunavut (scheduled for November 1, 2014), to replace the current process of acquiring mineral claims by physical staking on the ground. The two new federal Regulations (very similar in tenour) are expected to come into force on April 1, 2014, and their publication on June 29, 2013 ushered in a 60-day period for stakeholder feedback, which ended on August 28. Responses received are now under study by the Department.

Most of the changes contemplated by the proposed new Regulations are administrative in nature, such as:

  • Deregulating forms to allow greater flexibility to make adjustments;
  • Using clear, modern regulatory language, clarifying definitions and the wording of some provisions,
  • Repealing some obsolete provisions;
  • Replacing certain discretionary powers of departmental officials with specific criteria;
  • Establishing a payment and refund scheme to guarantee work being performed on a claim, using the Financial Administration Act as legal authority for such a scheme;
  • Reducing duplication with other legislation (e.g. re safety);
  • Repealing dispute resolution provisions governing access disputes between surface rights holders and prospectors.
  • Changing the annual date for applying to the Mining Recorder for prospecting permits from the period between December 1 and December 31, to the much longer period between February 1 and the last business day of November, in order to grant additional time for notification and technical review of work planned in the permit area. (Notification is given by the Mining Recorder to stakeholders like Aboriginal groups and other federal departments and agencies);
  • Changing the deadline to apply for a mineral lease from the 10th to the 9th anniversary of the claim, so as to ensure continuity of the mineral tenure;
  • Permitting claims holders to surrender their claims at any time, by submitting a cancellation request and prescribed fee to the Mining Recorder;
  • Clarifying the power of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development to delay the reopening of lands for staking and prospecting and to take or manage remedial measures, where those lands are environmentally damaged as a result of the previous owner failing to fulfill his environmental protection obligations.
  • Clarifying the power of the Minister to dispose of lands forming part of a cancelled mineral claim or leased claim where the cancellation has resulted from insolvency proceedings or by the realization of security.
  • Providing for suspension of work requirements and the payment of charges, if a claim holder company has received a court order under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act;
  • Clarifying the rules on prospecting permits.

Extensions of time for completing work required to maintain a mineral claim in good standing will be limited to three extensions in the 10-year duration of the mineral claim. Payments in lieu of work will have to be made for each extension, and the claim holder will be reimbursed if work is performed later within the period of validity of the claim.

In addition, the proposed changes will significantly reduce the administrative costs related to reporting on work. Many requirements of reporting and inspections will be removed; other reports will be simplified and their production in electronic format will be authorized.

It is anticipated that the two new sets of Regulations will modernize and streamline the legal structure of mineral tenure in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, reducing administrative costs and time considerably, to the satisfaction  of mining interests and (it is hoped) thus stimulating mining development in the two Territories affected.

For more information or to answer any questions on mining law in Canada’s North, please contact:

Adam  Chamberlain
Toronto
416.367.6172
achamberlain@blg.com

 

Northern Articles and Information of Note

Adam Chamberlain’s message at the beginning of this newsletter points out that every activity in the North is shaped by the unique factors in play in the region. The particular challenges and opportunities presented by the wave of change underway in the North is receiving coverage by a wide variety of bodies and publications. This new section of the newsletter highlights some recent important – or just interesting – documents that help illuminate the special considerations of the region.

Wireless And Broadband Connectivity

Adam Fiser, Mapping the Long-Term Options for Canada’s North: Telecommunications and Broadband Connectivity (Ottawa: Conference Board of Canada, 2013), online: Centre for the North.

The Centre for the North, an initiative of the Conference Board of Canada, aims to bring together Aboriginal leaders, businesses, governments and other stakeholders to strive for a common vision of sustainable prosperity in the North. To that end, the Centre provides support through research and, through their website, maps and postings that illustrate particular social and economic issues that must be understood in pursuit of this vision. Their latest report, Mapping the Long-Term Options for Canada’s North: Telecommunications and Broadband Connectivity (registration required) comes out as several companies have recently stepped forward with innovative plans for improving telecommunications and connectivity in the North. The author, Adam Fiser, identifies the current lack of connectivity in the region as an economic constraint, both at a regional level and a consumer level: at a regional level, it inhibits diversification into areas, such as new media, that require better access. He also suggests that the patchwork nature of the current systems could be a stumbling block for improving connectivity in the North and that shared network infrastructure should be encouraged among stakeholders – timely advice as more new players enter the scene.

Economic Development

Per-Ola Karlsson & Laurence C Smith, “Is the Arctic the Next Emerging Market?” (2013) 72 Strategy+Business (Autumn 2013), online: Strategy+Business.

Anyone with an interest in the North will have seen that the economic opportunities presented by environmental change in the region continue  to receive a great deal of attention in the business media. “Is the Arctic the Next Emerging Market?” is one such article, appearing in the Autumn 2013 issue of Booz & Company’s Strategy+Business. It focuses not so much on the potential of as- yet untapped natural resources, but on five key challenges to unlocking them in the region: protection of the environment and its people; insufficient investment for infrastructure; navigation of dangerous waters; unresolved governance disagreements; and a lack of scientific research into “natural resource development, sustainable economic growth, ecosystem protection, and comprehension of the impact of climate change in the Arctic”. In focusing on these challenges the authors strike a cautionary note, arguing that “developing the Arctic, though ripe with opportunity, is also fraught with complexity. The desire for resource wealth must be tempered by respect for local populations and customs, and for the land itself.”

Legislation – Land Claims Agreement Obligations

Northern Jobs and Growth Act, S.C. 2013, c. 14. Royal Assent June 19, 2013.

This is an omnibus Act that enacts two new statutes – the Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act and the Northwest Territories Surface Rights Board Act – and which amends the Yukon Surface Rights Board Act. The Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act is enacted to implement provisions of Articles 10 through 12 of the 1993 Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. While the Nunavut Planning Commission and the Nunavut Impact Review Board were established under the Agreement in 1996, this new Act defines their functions and sets out the processes for land use planning and for the environmental assessment of proposed development projects. Similarly, the Northwest Territories Surface Rights Board Act implements provisions of the Gwich’in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement and the Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement, by creating a surface rights board to resolve disputes regarding access to lands and compensation for access when a negotiated agreement cannot be reached. The Library of Parliament’s Legislative Summary on the legislation comments that the Act responds in part to the recommendation of two influential reports: the Minister of Aboriginal Development and Aboriginal Affairs’ “Action Plan to Improve Northern Regulatory Regimes”; and “Road to Improvement: “The Review of Regulatory Systems Across the North”, authored by Neil McCrank, Q.C., for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada in 2008.

International Law And Arctic Sovereignty

Michael Byers, International Law and the Arctic(Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2013). 340pp. ISBN 9781107042759

Michael Byers, Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at the University of British Columbia, has just published International Law and the Arctic (Cambridge University Press, 2013). Byers, who also comments on Northern issues through his blog and in print and electronic media, explains international law as it pertains to issues in the Arctic, particularly in light of the climatic changes that have placed the region in an economic development spotlight, and highlights instances of international cooperation in the region.

http://www.cambridge.org/asia/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9781107042759

Neal Ferguson is Manager of Library of Information Services in BLG’s Ottawa office and a member of Team North. He can be reached at:

Neal Ferguson
Ottawa
613.787.3553
nferguson@blg.com

Authors

Scott Kerwin 
SKerwin@blg.com
604.640.4029

Yvan Houle 
YHoule@blg.com
514.954.3146

Other Authors

Damian Hornich
Qajaq Robinson
Adam Chamberlain

Expertise

Team North®