Supreme Court’s Yukon land ruling welcomed as new chapter for territory (Victoria Times Colonist – December 1, 2017)

http://www.timescolonist.com/

The Canadian Press: OTTAWA — First Nations, environmental groups and Yukon Premier Sandy Silver welcomed a Supreme Court of Canada ruling on wilderness lands Friday as a victory for the northern territory.

The unanimous high court ruling is likely to ensure ecological protection of much of the Peel Watershed, a swath of unspoiled terrain that covers an area the size of Ireland. The Supreme Court said the Yukon government “thwarted” the land-use process by improperly rewriting a plan for the watershed, which features rugged mountains and taiga forests.

Although Yukon lost the case that has been winding through the courts for years, the premier, who became leader only last December, hailed the ruling as an important step toward finalizing a plan that reflects a shared vision.

The territory will aim to work in collaboration with First Nations to complete planning for the watershed, Silver told a news conference in Whitehorse. “Today, Yukon is closing a chapter,” he said. “And as we open a new one, we must not forget the lessons learned through this process.”

Chief Roberta Joseph of the Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation, one of the Indigenous groups that pursued the matter in court, said she was “extremely pleased to arrive on a path of certainty” on the Peel land-use plan.

For the rest of this article: http://www.timescolonist.com/supreme-court-s-yukon-land-ruling-welcomed-as-new-chapter-for-territory-1.23110130

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