Peel protection legally sound: Berger

Lawyer Thomas Berger has concluded in a legal opinion that the Yukon government would not have to pay claim holders in the Peel if it were to accept the planning commission's final recommended plan.

Lawyer Thomas Berger has concluded in a legal opinion that the Yukon government would not have to pay claim holders in the Peel if it were to accept the planning commission’s final recommended plan.

The government has insisted that implementing that plan, which protects 80 per cent of the Peel watershed from road construction, would result in costly lawsuits from companies with mineral claims in the area.

According to a summary of Berger’s findings, this would not be the case.

“It is vital to keep in mind that instituting a program of land use planning is not the same thing as expropriation,” Berger wrote in a letter to the Yukon Conservation Society and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Yukon.

In a 2006 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada found that in order for de facto expropriation to have occurred, the government must have acquired beneficial interest in the land in question, according to the letter.

The Yukon government will not acquire any interest in the protected lands of the Peel watershed through the implementation of the final recommended plan, and will therefore owe claim holders nothing, Berger wrote.

Berger will represent the two conservation groups, as well as the First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun and the Tr’ondek Hwech’in, in court in July. Plaintiffs filed an outline of their arguments in Yukon Supreme Court on Friday.

Berger will argue that the only legal plan for the Peel is the one recommended by the planning commission.

The Yukon government has since announced its own plan for the Peel, which opens 71 per cent of the area to new staking and doesn’t rule out the development of roads anywhere in the watershed.

According to the statement of claim, that plan is illegal because it runs afoul of the land-use planning process outlined in final agreements with the First Nations.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

jronson@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Calvin Delwisch poses for a photo inside his DIY sauna at Marsh Lake on Feb. 18.
Yukoners turning up the heat with unique DIY sauna builds

Do-it-yourselfers say a sauna built with salvaged materials is a great winter project

d
Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

g
Yukonomist: School competition ramps up in the Yukon

It’s common to see an upstart automaker trying to grab share from… Continue reading

The Yukon government responded to a petition calling the SCAN Act “draconian” on Feb. 19. (Yukon News file)
Yukon government accuses SCAN petitioner of mischaracterizing her eviction

A response to the Jan. 7 petition was filed to court on Feb. 19

City councillor Samson Hartland in Whitehorse on Dec. 3, 2018. Hartland has announced his plans to run for mayor in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillor sets sights on mayor’s chair

Hartland declares election plans

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Housing construction continues in the Whistle Bend subdivision in Whitehorse on Oct. 29, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Bureau of Statistics reports rising rents for Yukoners, falling revenues for businesses

The bureau has published several reports on the rental market and businesses affected by COVID-19

Council of Yukon First Nations grand chief Peter Johnston at the Yukon Forum in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. Johnston and Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn announced changes to the implementation of the Yukon First Nations Procurement Policy on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Third phase added to procurement policy implementation

Additional time added to prep for two provisions

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

Most Read