Supreme Court of Canada Rulings

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NorthReport
Supreme Court of Canada Rulings

Supreme Court ruling removes barrier for developing year-round ski resort on sacred First Nation land

Proposed project in B.C. pits Indigenous religious rights against public interest in Crown land

 

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/politics/indigenous-rights-ski-resort-1.4381902

WWWTT

Ya so in other words, "Canada is still the white mans land!"

Colonialism is strong and thriving in Canada!

Here's a list of the Judges. All of them are white European!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Justices_of_the_Supreme_Court_of_C...

Rev Pesky

Personally, I can't see how they could have arrived at any other conclusion. Here are a couple of relevant passages from the ruling:

Supreme Court Ruling

Interpreting the scope of religious protections under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Supreme Court said those protections include freedom to hold such beliefs and manifest those beliefs, but do not extend to the protection of sacred sites...

...The nine justices were unanimous in the decision to reject the Ktunaxa appeal on grounds of public interest, but two  justices, Michael Moldaver and Suzanne Côté, took a broader view of the Charter religious protections.

Explaining their dissenting view, the two wrote that religious beliefs in Grizzly Bear Spirit would become "entirely devoid of religious significance, and accordingly, their prayers, ceremonies, and rituals associated with Grizzly Bear Spirit would become nothing more than empty words and hollow gestures."...

The problem you run into when dealing with religious belief is that there is no limit to what a religious belief may be. The Supreme Court made a good decision in making clear you can believe what you want to believe, you can't necessarily act on that belief.

There is no more a Grizzly Bear Spirit than there is any other God. If one wants to believe there is, fine, but don't expect the law to accept all the ancillary things that belief extends to. For instance, there are those who believe their god wants them to have numerous wives, or wives of pre-puberty age, or human sacrifice, or what-have-you. The law, in order to be fair to all, has to take the position that all beliefs are the creation of the believer, not some outside supernatural being.

The only error they made in the decision was referring to 'indigenous' people. There are no 'indigenous' people in this part of the world. The only place where humans are indigenous is Africa. Everyone who lives in what are now called North and South America are migrants. Some from many years ago, but migrants none-the-less. 

Rev Pesky

From WWWTT:

Here's a list of the Judges. All of them are white European!

This is exactly the point made by Trump during the recent election when he commented that a 'Mexican' judge couldn't be objective.

cco

Rev Pesky wrote:

The problem you run into when dealing with religious belief is that there is no limit to what a religious belief may be. The Supreme Court made a good decision in making clear you can believe what you want to believe, you can't necessarily act on that belief.

There is no more a Grizzly Bear Spirit than there is any other God. If one wants to believe there is, fine, but don't expect the law to accept all the ancillary things that belief extends to. For instance, there are those who believe their god wants them to have numerous wives, or wives of pre-puberty age, or human sacrifice, or what-have-you. The law, in order to be fair to all, has to take the position that all beliefs are the creation of the believer, not some outside supernatural being.

I really wish that were the case, and as long as I remain engaged with Canadian politics, I will do my best to make it the case, but sadly, at the moment, the Charter begins with "supremacy of God", and the only changes Canadian politicians seem likely to make are appending "and the Grizzly Bear Spirit". I just watched Robin MacLachlan, the supposed NDP talking head on Power & Politics, say that the Governor-General shouldn't criticize creationists because, as the representative of the queen, she's "defender of the faith". That might take the cake as the angriest I've ever been at an NDP talking point, and I've been angry at quite a few.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
The Supreme Court made a good decision in making clear you can believe what you want to believe, you can't necessarily act on that belief.

Nor can you expect that the government will, at least for now.

 

WWWTT

Rev Pesky wrote:

Personally, I can't see how they could have arrived at any other conclusion. Here are a couple of relevant passages from the ruling:

Supreme Court Ruling

Interpreting the scope of religious protections under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Supreme Court said those protections include freedom to hold such beliefs and manifest those beliefs, but do not extend to the protection of sacred sites...

...The nine justices were unanimous in the decision to reject the Ktunaxa appeal on grounds of public interest, but two  justices, Michael Moldaver and Suzanne Côté, took a broader view of the Charter religious protections.

Explaining their dissenting view, the two wrote that religious beliefs in Grizzly Bear Spirit would become "entirely devoid of religious significance, and accordingly, their prayers, ceremonies, and rituals associated with Grizzly Bear Spirit would become nothing more than empty words and hollow gestures."...

The problem you run into when dealing with religious belief is that there is no limit to what a religious belief may be. The Supreme Court made a good decision in making clear you can believe what you want to believe, you can't necessarily act on that belief.

There is no more a Grizzly Bear Spirit than there is any other God. If one wants to believe there is, fine, but don't expect the law to accept all the ancillary things that belief extends to. For instance, there are those who believe their god wants them to have numerous wives, or wives of pre-puberty age, or human sacrifice, or what-have-you. The law, in order to be fair to all, has to take the position that all beliefs are the creation of the believer, not some outside supernatural being.

The only error they made in the decision was referring to 'indigenous' people. There are no 'indigenous' people in this part of the world. The only place where humans are indigenous is Africa. Everyone who lives in what are now called North and South America are migrants. Some from many years ago, but migrants none-the-less. 

Sure from a colonialists perspective, there can be no other ruling made here. After all, the charter was writen by white Europeans (mostly male). We came here and forcefully subjected the indigenous people's to our beliefs and wills of the time. If they objected, they became criminals and were punished(see what happened to Reil). The real zinger is that colonists never held themeselves to the same standard as they held the indigenous peoples to.

The extreme religous examples you provide only twist and make this issue needlesly more complicated! West coast tribes are not asking to abuse the rights of others for their freedom of religous expression.

Now I do not agree and support ALL indigenous beliefs!

https://www.pri.org/stories/2014-08-11/successful-whale-hunt-northern-ca...

It's no coincidence that the Canadian government comes up with any exuse to take land away, but is perfectly OK with killing the oldest largest most intelligent creatures on the Earth!

Colonialism is alive strong and thriving in the Canadian government! Make no mistake about it, the government is more than happy to prove this.

iyraste1313

To use the Charter´s religious rights in this case is utterly preposterous.....who were the lawyers to give such ridiculous advice. The aboriginal rights section (24?) is more appropriate, based on an extensive number of cases under international indigenous law, which defines clearly what aboriginal rights are.

The Royal proclamation of 1763 I believe is also specifically mentioned in that Section. Which demands the Crown protect the interest of all Indigenous territory, (socalled Crown lands at that date in time!) 

Anyway it´s all totally academic. No Government, not even the lower Courts have any respect for any of the Charter rights......I dare anyone to even mention one judge anywhere in the Provicial Courts that has a clue about Charter rights, including the federal Court system. Nor would I suggest that even the smallest number of Government legislation would past the Section on fundamental principles of law, such as the Oakes case, where Government can enact to curb personal freedoms only where it can prove that it is in the public interest, and only based on standards of appropriateness.

if the Charter was to be taken seriously, not one election in the history of Canada would be considered legitimate under Section 3 of the Act on democratic Rights...I could go on forever...it´s all total bullshit!

Rev Pesky

From WWWTT:

Sure from a colonialists perspective, there can be no other ruling made here. After all, the charter was writen by white Europeans (mostly male).

Again you echo Donald Trump, with his 'belief' that one cannot be objective based on their background (or their ancestors background).

 

Rev Pesky

The relevant part of the Charter of Rights, courtesy Wikipedia:

25. The guarantee in this Charter of certain rights and freedoms shall not be construed as to abrogate or derogate from any aboriginal, treaty or other rights or freedoms that pertain to the aboriginal peoples of Canada including

(a) any rights or freedoms that have been recognized by the Royal Proclamation of October 7, 1763; and

(b) any rights or freedoms that now exist by way of land claims agreements or may be so acquired.

More important is section 35 of the constitution. Again, courtesy Wikipedia:

35. (1) The existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada are hereby recognized and affirmed.

(2) In this Act, "aboriginal peoples of Canada" includes the Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.

(3) For greater certainty, in subsection (1) "treaty rights" includes rights that now exist by way of land claims agreements or may be so acquired.

(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the aboriginal and treaty rights referred to in subsection (1) are guaranteed equally to male and female persons.

WWWTT

Rev Pesky wrote:

From WWWTT:

Sure from a colonialists perspective, there can be no other ruling made here. After all, the charter was writen by white Europeans (mostly male).

Again you echo Donald Trump, with his 'belief' that one cannot be objective based on their background (or their ancestors background).

 

LOL!

Ya I don't think Donald Trump ever had any criticism against white European colonist thinking or their descendants. So your debate tactic here is to discredit me by labelling me as a "Donald Trump" thinker right? But somehow it's perfectly A OK for the Canadian government to continuesly discriminate against anyone who is NOT white European from sitting on the supreme court of Canada????? And somehow for some reason, according to your logic, if the Canadian government appointed a non white judge to sit on the supreme court, they would be acting like Donald Trump????

Here's a side note to compare to your debate tactic. My school sent home with my son a letter asking for parents to sit on a school board committee, specificaly African visible minorities. To me this is very logical and appropriate and I am sure that there are many very qualified candidates to choose from!!!! But according to your logic, my son's school suffers from Donald Trump beliefs!

WWWTT

Rev Pesky wrote:

From WWWTT:

Sure from a colonialists perspective, there can be no other ruling made here. After all, the charter was writen by white Europeans (mostly male).

Again you echo Donald Trump, with his 'belief' that one cannot be objective based on their background (or their ancestors background).

 

Ya actually you may have a point! If the subject in question did grow up with the same prejudices and labels as visible minorities in Canada, living in the exact same conditions of poverty and lack of opportunity, then yes you may actually be right in your exagerated claim. But that's not really what you're talking about here is it now? You seem to be making Donald Trump a very realistic authentic down to Earth person whith life experiences that anyone from any faith or background can mutually agree upon. But somehow that's not the context you're using his name in is it? 

 

Sean in Ottawa

I think it is wise to consider the process and remedies before calling out a decision.

Indigenous people have been and still are very badly treated. Ownership of land, treaty rights, racism and discrimination in policy are all key areas of injustice. The government is acting illegally in many respects.

I do agree that the mechanism of religious freedoms does not sound like a remedy that had any chance of success here.

At issue are unresolved land claims, treaties ignored, racism and other injustices. These have to be met head on.

Using the wrong mechanism can create precedence in law that cannot apply just to one population if it is a general one. Use of religious freedoms could be used against Indigenous peoples in a different case or against the country applied by others. I am curious about the rationale of tying an Indigenous grievance to such a provision.

I don't think there is a requirement to find new laws to protect Indigenous rights but to see the current ones empowered and given force. I think Canada needs a concerted effort from all citizens to pressure the governemnt to abide by treaties, settle claims, deal legally nation to nation, fight racism and discrimination. There is a current legal framework for this. The government is not acting legally. Seeking out a weaker framework than the ones currently being ignored does not eem to be an avenue to success. The government is acting outside of the law with political cover for doing so. They need to lose that cover.

I accept there may be reasons for this action that I do not understand but the situation is strange on the face of it.

Is there a land claim for the specific territory this case speaks to? If so why is that not the focus? If the land is theirs -- they do not need a rationale to decide what they want done with it. It may be a case has been lost over control over the land that was fought on the wrong principles when the right principles may have produced an opposite decision. That does not mean the government will respect or comply but at least it woudl be a positive decision.

I think the loss is unfortunate. I think the goverenment owes it to Indigenous people to look beyond the specific decision to address the grievance behind the grievance even if the mechanism was the wrong one.

Rev Pesky

From WWWTT:

So your debate tactic here is to discredit me by labelling me as a "Donald Trump" thinker right?

Nope. It is merely to point out that some very ignorant people, of which Donald Trump is one, use precisely the argument you used. That is, that someone cannot think objectively.

pookie

This case involved both section 35 (albeit for a claim that was still unproved) AND 2(a).  That was as a result of the legal arguments made by the Ktunaxa Nation.  No one else.

WWWTT

Another point. Different religions have evolved in different regions of the world. Some are similar and have their differences. Through colonialism and immigration, the worlds religions were brought to Canada. And the big losers are the aboriginal people’s their beliefs and culture. Much has already been lost!!!!Was it the indigenous people’s fault they lost????

this ruling is a display of the arrogant right to self entitlement attitude of colonists. No sympathy for the loss of native beliefs culture and the very people’s themselves!

Rev Pesky

A very interesting case. The negotiation for this project has been going on since 1990. That means nigh onto 30 years.

And the area in question is, in fact, subject to a land claim, just not one from the Ktunaxa.

Here's an excerpt from a letter to the Premier of the day (2010), from the Chief of the Shuswap First Nations regarding the project.

SHUSWAP INDIAN BAND

November 11, 2010

Honourable Premier Gordon Campbell Province of British Columbia Victoria BC

Dear Premier:

Re: Shuswap Indian Band Jumbo Glacier Resort Project – Ktunaxa Misrepresentations Relating to Shuswap Traditional Territories

I am deeply concerned with the representations that have been made by the Ktunaxa Nation in relation to the pending approval of the Jumbo Glacier Resort. Shuswap Indian Band is the 1st Nation community that is:

•Located the closest to the resort project;

•Retains provincially registered trap lines on the road to the resort and in and around the Resort;

•Toby Creek drainage and the pass related to the drainage, i.e. Earl Grey Pass, is identified in the Provincial Name Registry as being historically known as the Shuswap Pass and other 1st Nations that have traditionally occupied the western slopes of the Purcells, west of the Resort have known the pass as the Kinbasket Pass in recognition of the Kinbasket family (of Kinbasket Lake fame) that led the Shuswap Reserve people during the past century;

•Two sons of the original Chief, Pierre Kinbasket were chiefs of the Shuswap and Columbia Lake Band, located immediately south of the Shuswap Reserve. Jumbo Glacier is placed solidly within the traditional territory of the Shuswap Indian Band and not the Ktunaxa. I must further note that the Shuswap Nation (some 17 1st Nation Bands and 15,000 members), have on a number of occasions by way of Resolution, supported the Shuswap position on this project.

​...The Ktunaxa have not worked in good faith through the Provincial process, even though they had every opportunity to do so. I do not appreciate other 1st Nation’s that have minimal traditional interests in this project, impacting my community’s well being.

...Yours Truly

Chief Paul Sam Chief, Shuswap Indian Band

Copy: Shuswap Nation Tribal Council

It appears as though the Grizzly Bear Spirit was a last gasp attempt by the Ktunaxa to insert themselves into the project. By the way, even though they were consulted all along, the Grizzly Bear Spirit wasn't mentioned for the first twenty years of negotiations.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Again you echo Donald Trump, with his 'belief' that one cannot be objective based on their background (or their ancestors background).

I wouldn't say it's solely Trump, nor even people "like him".  The belief that a person is most likely to, or best able to, act in the interest of others like themself is why we care about the racial makeup of a jury, or the gender makeup of a Board of Directors or a party slate. 

And isn't that why we would want more Aboriginal input into a situation like this?  The presumption that they would vote against it?

WWWTT

Rev Pesky wrote:

From WWWTT:

So your debate tactic here is to discredit me by labelling me as a "Donald Trump" thinker right?

Nope. It is merely to point out that some very ignorant people, of which Donald Trump is one, use precisely the argument you used. That is, that someone cannot think objectively.

Sounds like you're resorting to "digging the hole deeper" instead of just admitting the faults with your debate tactic after getting caught.

In fact every single human on the earth is very ignorant of very many things in existense. We're all good at something, but not everything. And there's a lot of things(info/knowledge/facts/sciences/history/subjects etc etc) out there! Therefore we are ALL very ignorant. No shame in this at all because the word "ignorant" is a relative term and we are all humans and not computers.

But this isn't what you are really trying to say now is it? You want to use the name of someone whom has a tarnished reputation and try to label/attach it to another poster. You even go as far as to try and say that my point in identifying the ethnic backgrounds of the supreme court justices is an indication that I can not give someone credit for objectively thinking (whatever that means really?) Maybe you're trying to say that someone who grew up with a privelaged life with opportunity can somehow be a spokesperson for visible minorities underprivelaged discriminated with no hope people's? Sounds like a justification for racism. So in other words, you're doing the same thing Donald Trump has done, in making arguments to justify open discrimination and bigotery!

My point was that  the people who made this decission are white Europeans and or heritage of. Not one single visible minority or native and the supreme court of Canada!

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Maybe you're trying to say that someone who grew up with a privelaged life with opportunity can somehow be a spokesperson for visible minorities underprivelaged discriminated with no hope people's?

Supreme Court Justices (or any other Justices, for that matter) aren't called upon to be a "spokesperson".  That's just not in their wheelhouse, and if you really think this through, we don't want it to be.

This calls to mind Marie Henein, who was evidently expected (by reason of ovaries) to have been a spokesperson for feminism, rather than a lawyer.  Excellent lawyer, terrible woman.

WWWTT

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Maybe you're trying to say that someone who grew up with a privelaged life with opportunity can somehow be a spokesperson for visible minorities underprivelaged discriminated with no hope people's?

Supreme Court Justices (or any other Justices, for that matter) aren't called upon to be a "spokesperson".  That's just not in their wheelhouse, and if you really think this through, we don't want it to be.

This calls to mind Marie Henein, who was evidently expected (by reason of ovaries) to have been a spokesperson for feminism, rather than a lawyer.  Excellent lawyer, terrible woman.

Yes I wouldn't look to far into a guess I made to justify another posters comments. I was only making a guess. I really shouldn't be making such kind of guess as part of my comment really because I'm not giving that part of the comment much thought.

NorthReport

Ktunaxa profoundly disappointed but undeterred by Supreme Court ruling

'We feel that we didn’t fail, it was others that failed to hear,' said Kathryn Teneese

By Chantelle Bellrichard, CBC News Posted: Nov 03, 2017 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Nov 03, 2017 5:00 AM ET

A landmark decision released Thursday by Canada's top court paves the way for development of the Jumbo Glacier resort in the Kootenays region of British Columbia, despite strong objections from the Ktunaxa Nation. (Robson Fletcher)

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/supreme-court-canada-ktunaxa-1.4385234

NorthReport

Supreme Court’s Jumbo Ski Resort Ruling Offside Of Canada’s International Commitment to Indigenous Peoples

By Judith Lavoie • Thursday, November 2, 2017 - 17:51

Jumbo Glacier Resort

https://www.desmog.ca/2017/11/02/supreme-court-s-jumbo-ski-resort-ruling...

NorthReport

Russian spy son to Supreme Court: Don’t waste your time

Alex Vavilov says Ottawa’s fight to deny him citizenship is pointless because the astounding circumstances of his case are unlikely to reoccur

http://www.macleans.ca/news/russian-spy-son-to-supreme-court-dont-waste-...

Rev Pesky

From the posted desmog.ca article.

Nowhere in that article are the Shuswap 1st Nations mentioned. Even though the land in question is 'solidly within Shuswap territory'. Also not mentioned was the fact that the Grizzly Bear Spirit was not mentioned by the Ktunaxa for the first twenty years of negotiations. Apparently they didn't realize the bear lived there until quite late in the process.

The CBC article is the same. Not a word about the Shuswap First Nations within who's territory the project exists.

Rev Pesky

Fom WWWTT:

Maybe you're trying to say that someone who grew up with a privelaged life with opportunity can somehow be a spokesperson for visible minorities underprivelaged discriminated with no hope people's? Sounds like a justification for racism.

I'll just point out that Fidel Castro was a son of privilege. Wealthy parents and a university education. Oh yeah, and he was of European extraction as well.

NorthReport

Hopefully the operators will offer a lot of the jobs to the First Nations if they do indeed proceed with the project

Rev Pesky

From North Report:

Hopefully the operators will offer a lot of the jobs to the First Nations if they do indeed proceed with the project.

In fact the developer has a long standing agreement with the Shuswap First Nations addressing that specific point, as well as many others. As shown in the letter I posted above, 17 Shuswap First Nations, representing 15,000 members voted their approval of the agreement years ago, and have been working with the developer all along.

And as the Shuswap Chief notes, all of the lands for the development are within the Shuswap territory.