Planning council denied seat at appeal of Peel watershed case

The Yukon Land Use Planning Council has been denied intervener status in the upcoming appeal over the Peel watershed. In court Tuesday, Yukon Court of Appeal Judge Robert Bauman said intervener status isn’t granted if...

The Yukon Land Use Planning Council has been denied intervener status in the upcoming appeal over the Peel watershed.

In court Tuesday, Yukon Court of Appeal Judge Robert Bauman said intervener status isn’t granted if you are trying to argue points that weren’t part of the original case or expand the scope of the appeal.

In May the council said it could help the territory avoid future conflicts like the one over the Peel watershed if its role as a mediator of disputes is clarified.

The council doesn’t have a position on who should win the case.

Yukon Supreme Court Justice Ron Veale struck down the Yukon government’s plan for the Peel after a court case last summer, ruling that it did not follow the process outlined in final agreements with First Nations.

The Yukon government is now appealing that decision.

Neither the Yukon government nor the First Nations supported the council’s intervention in the Peel case.

If they had been granted status, they would have been allowed to make submissions to the court on how it should proceed.

The Vuntut Gwitchin joined the Tr’ondek Hwech’in, the First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun and conservation groups as a respondent in the appeal.

The Gwich’in Tribal Council had its application approved to act as an intervener in the appeal earlier this year.

They were part of the original trial as well.

The Yukon Court of Appeal will hear the case in August.

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