For Immediate Release
(April 14th, 2021) On Friday April 9th, 2021, the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council filed an “application of leave to appeal” to the Supreme of Court of Canada. This move comes after the provincial court of appeal overtured an injunction that prevents Manitoba from carrying out further work on a proposed outlet channels project and access road for the project. The proposed project, as community members have consistently said, will cause irreparable harm to the environment and livelihood sources. This step, therefore, allows the Supreme Court of Canada to weigh in on the importance of indigenous rights in Canada and the Federal Government commitment to reconciliation.
“This supreme court of appeal application was filed due to the conflict of interest the province of Manitoba is in with the Lake St Martin Channel Project, when a proponent is able to consult as the crown, issue its own permits and licenses and also build the project; this conflict of interest concerns us. We need a federal court to rule on this work that was done illegally.”, Says Chairman Cornell McLean of Interlake Reserves Tribal Council and Chief of Lake Manitoba First Nation.
A provincial ruling on a provincial project such as this creates an atmosphere of mistrust. This mistrust has been deepened by Manitoba’s approach to consultation and continued disregard for Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. That is why IRTC have asked the Supreme Court of Canada to review Manitoba’s decision to overturn the injunction.
Karl Zadnik, CEO for IRTC, maintains that: “The communities’ livelihoods will all be impacted from this mega project, and the Province is now looking to right their wrongs from the past, however, we still haven’t met with Minister Schuler in over a year since we requested to meet as leaders. We have always been open to working with this government, and this recent filing to the Supreme Court of Appeal is to ensure there is proper federal oversight on a Provincial Government locked in a conflict of interest”.
The Interlake Reserves Tribal Council Inc. (IRTC) is a partnership of six Manitoba Interlake First Nations working together to advance our collective well-being. IRTC includes: Dauphin River, Kinonjeoshtegon, Lake Manitoba, Little Saskatchewan, Peguis and Pinaymootang First Nations.
Media Contact: Karl Zadnik, Chief Executive Officer, IRTC | firstname.lastname@example.org | (204) 795 4747