First Nation and YTG appeal court decision on staking consultation

Both the Ross River Dena Council and the Yukon government have appealed a recent Yukon Supreme Court decision on mineral staking.

Both the Ross River Dena Council and the Yukon government have appealed a recent Yukon Supreme Court decision on mineral staking.

The Kaska First Nation originally went to court over the government’s duty to consult it before issuing mineral claims in its traditional territory.

But it didn’t exactly get what it wanted.

In November, Justice Ron Veale ruled the government is obligated to consult with the First Nation, but not until after a mineral claim has been issued.

That still gives the First Nation enough time to determine the potential impact of exploration, while also giving some security to the claim holder, Veale wrote in his 33-page decision.

Fulfilling the duty to consult could be quite easy – simply emailing or giving the First Nation the government’s monthly report from the mining recorder would suffice, Veale said in his decision.

The Ross River Dena Council filed its notice of appeal on Dec. 3.

But it seems the territorial government didn’t like the ruling either and it filed a notice for a cross appeal on Dec. 15. It intends to argue there is no duty to consult before or after a mineral claim has been issued.

In his decision, Veale included a point of concern he discovered when reviewing the mining system in the territory.

A major reason he decided the government wasn’t obligated to consult with the First Nation until after a mineral claim was issued was because the government itself isn’t aware of a new claim until that point.

The claim holder’s notification to the mining recorder is the government’s first record of any new claims in the territory.

There is no notice or permit required for staking. The Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board doesn’t need an application until the exploration becomes more advanced.

Especially considering mineral exploration has reached unprecedented levels over the past two years, Veale questioned the government’ ability to monitor the work going on in the territory.

From January 2011 to the end of June, the number of quartz mining claims in good standing in the Yukon had increased by 68,542, said Veale. Each claim is 51 acres in size.

Exploration-program costs in that same time period have increased by about $100 million, he added.

In total, the Ross River Dena Council’s traditional territory makes up 13 per cent of the territory, or 63,110 square kilometres. That’s roughly the same size of Latvia or Lithuania, the decision said.

Fourteen per cent of that area is covered by 8,633 active mineral claims.

By the end of June 2011, there were a total of 226,961 quartz mining claims in good standing in the territory, Veale’s decision said.

The Yukon Court of Appeal is expected to deal with the case in May.

Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at

roxannes@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

Several people enter the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Coast High Country Inn Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Jan. 26. The Yukon government announced on Jan. 25 that residents of Whitehorse, Ibex Valley, Marsh Lake and Mount Lorne areas 65 and older can now receive their vaccines. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Vaccine appointments available in Whitehorse for residents 65+

Yukoners 65 and older living in Whitehorse are now eligible to receive… Continue reading

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

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