The deadline for consultation with First Nations on the Peel land-use plan passed this week, and the government has little to show for it.
When this final round of consultations was announced in the fall, officials said that consultation with affected First Nation governments would run concurrently with the four-month-long public consultation period, and for an additional month after that.
Now, however, Premier Darrell Pasloski insists that there was only one month allotted, rather than five, and that the stated March 25 deadline was only a suggestion.
“Thirty days was the minimum, but we’re not there yet, so we’ll continue to be engaged with the affected First Nations.”
Meetings between officials have occurred, and he has spoken with the chiefs, said Pasloski.
He would not say when the consultation will be complete, or if it will delay the conclusion of the land-use planning process.
The premier could also not say what the benchmark will be to determine if the government’s obligation to consult has been met.
“That’s a difficult question that a lot of people go to school a long time on,” he said.
“And certainly always consultation is big, and it’s important. And, you know, if we just talk about consultation, it really depends upon situations. But we’ve got a lot of really great people that are working for us and have been involved in this process and we’re working together with officials and the leadership of the affected First Nations and we look forward to notifying everybody when we’re through that process.”