B.C.’s UNDRIP law a big step, but not necessarily a big change for mining – by Derrick Penner (Vancouver Sun – January 21, 2020)


B.C.’s new law on living up to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a big development, but it shouldn’t change much about how mining exploration happens in the province.

The legislation writes into law the requirement that government seek informed, prior consent of First Nations on resource development, but “I bet you recognize in industry, you’ve been doing this for a long time,” a senior civil servant, Doug Caul, told the Association for Mineral Exploration Roundup conference in Vancouver.

Caul, deputy minister of Indigenous relations and reconciliation, said resource developers have already been following the guidance set by court decisions on respecting Aboriginal rights and title and putting in the upfront work to build relationships with Indigenous communities.

Caul said many Indigenous communities have been working hard to determine their own mechanisms for dealing with questions of consent before signing agreements.

Still, the industry has a lot of questions about how the new law is going to be brought into force, said Kendra Johnston, CEO of the Association for Mineral Exploration.

For the rest of this article: https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-s-undrip-law-a-big-step-but-not-necessarily-a-big-change-for-mining