Board joins Selwyn court case

Liard First Nation Chief Liard McMillan's fight against the Selwyn mine development in Howard's Pass just got harder.

Liard First Nation Chief Liard McMillan’s fight against the Selwyn mine development in Howard’s Pass just got harder.

Following a decision by the Yukon Supreme Court, McMillan will now have to convince the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board his petition against the mine is sound.

Monday, Justice Ronald Veale added the board as a party to the case and included its online registry on the project as evidence.

McMillan opposes the Yukon government’s approval of the development, and filed papers against it on December 6.

His petition claims the evaluation report is flawed, and asks the development to be delayed until the alleged deficiencies are fixed.

The First Nation was not requesting any remedy from the environmental and socio-economic assessment board and claimed the territory could properly represent any needs under the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act.

Not so, said Veale, ruling the petition was a direct attack on the board’s practices.

As well, Veale cited his own recent ruling involving Western Copper Corporation as clarification, stating the board is completely independent from government with its own expertise and perspective.

The First Nation argued the case would be more expensive with the board involved, and might impact its view of the First Nation in the future if it were to be involved in the case.

Veale sympathized with both points, but rejected them.

“YESAB can make submissions in a moderate and respectful way and maintain its impartiality in the process.”

The role of the board and concerns over impartiality were valid, he said, but there are concerns of broader public interest that require a full exploration, not just discussion between parties.

By giving it full respondent status, Veale has given the board the right to appeal any future decisions, among other things.

The development in question is an underground exploration program that would move up to 200,000 tonnes of rock. It is located 160 kilometres northwest of Ross River and may be operating for 10 years.

It is believed to be one of the world’s largest unexploited zinc, lead and silver deposits, but the Liard First Nation is concerned it will pollute the surrounding watershed.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Diane McLeod-McKay, Yukon’s Ombudsman and information and privacy commissioner, filed a petition on Dec. 11 after her office was barred from accessing documents related to a child and family services case. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon government rejects Ombudsman requests for documentation filed to Supreme Court

Diane McLeod-McKay filed a petition on Dec. 11 after requests for documents were barred

Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens, left, celebrates his first NHL goal with defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen during the second period of a game against the Washington Capitals on Jan. 22 in Washington. (Nick Wass/AP)
Cozens notches first NHL goal in loss to Capitals

The Yukoner potted his first tally at 10:43 of the second period on Jan. 22

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Former CEO of Great Canadian Gaming, actress charged after flying to Beaver Creek for COVID-19 vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Are they coming?

One of COVID-19’s big economic questions is whether it will prompt a… Continue reading

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, along with Yukon health and education delegates, announce a new medical research initiative via a Zoom conference on Jan. 21. (Screen shot)
New medical research unit at Yukon University launched

The SPOR SUPPORT Unit will implement patient-first research practices

The bus stop at the corner of Industrial and Jasper Road in Whitehorse on Jan. 25. The stop will be moved approximately 80 metres closer to Quartz Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
UPDATED: Industrial Road bus stop to be relocated

The city has postponed the move indefinitely

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

Most Read