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Certification Hearing begins for First Nation Class-Action law suit against British Columbia Government to address negative impacts of salmon farming

Monday, April 12th 2010 1:45:08pm

Certification Hearing begins for First Nation Class-Action law suit against British Columbia Government with the aim of addressing negative impacts of salmon farming


WHO:

Chief Bob Chamberlin, Kwicksutaineuk/Ah-Kwa-Mish First Nation (KAFN) & Chairman of the Musgamagw-Tsawataineuk Tribal Council (MTTC) accompanied by Hereditary Chiefs and Regional First Nation Leaders will attend the first day of Certification Hearings in the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

WHAT:  

Chief Chamberlin will explain the importance of the legal action and address the ongoing decline in wild salmon issue as it pertains to the KAFN. Chief Chamberlin will be accompanied by Hereditary Chiefs from the following First Nations:

Kwicksutaineuk
Ha-xwa-mish
Tsawataineuk
Gwawaenuk
Namgis
Mamtagila
Mamalilikulla

WHERE:

Nelson Street entrance to the BC Supreme Court Building at 800 Smithe St. Vancouver

WHEN:

Tuesday April 13, 2010 at 8:15 am


To arrange interviews contact:


Don Huff, Penasi Communication/Environmental Communication Options
416-972-7404 (office) or 416-805-7720 (cell)
huffd(at)ecostrategy.ca


BACKGROUND:

In February 2009, representatives of the Kwicksutaineuk/Ah-Kwa-Mish (kwik wasoo tea noox & ha kwa meesh) First Nation (KAFN) launched a Class Action law suit involving the B.C. Government's regulation of open net-cage salmon farms, and the very survival of B.C.'s wild salmon. This case is also notable for being the first time a Canadian First Nation has used the Class Proceeding Act to advance an Aboriginal rights claim.

It was filed to address the negative impacts of open net-cage salmon farming and the decline in the wild salmon population in their traditional territory. The suit was brought against the B.C. Government by a First Nation whose territory is within the area known as the Broughton Archipelago. This is the formerly salmon rich area of mainland coast, islands and bays east of the northern tip of Vancouver Island. Currently, 29 fish farms are authorized by the B.C. Government to operate in the area.  The KAFN contends that these fish farms are licensed and regulated in a manner that has significant negative impacts on wild salmon stocks.

The certification hearing will determine whether or not the action can go forward as a class action.  If the Court approves this procedure, all First Nations who utilize the wild fishery in the area will be notified, and will then have the opportunity to make a claim under the class action, or to opt out.


Links to relevant earlier media release are listed below:

BC Supreme Court will not delay KAFN salmon fishery class action law suit (Nov 25, 09) http://www.huffstrategy.com/MediaManager/release/preview/0/preview/1783.html

BC First Nations file Class-Action Motion to save wild salmon in the Broughton Archipelago (May 6, 09) http://www.huffstrategy.com/MediaManager/release/preview/0/preview/1606.html

BC First Nation launches Class-Action lawsuit against provincial government to address impacts of salmon farming (Feb. 4, 09) http://www.huffstrategy.com/MediaManager/release/preview/0/preview/1508.html

KAFN Statement of Claim: http://huffstrategy.com/MediaManager/release/KAFN/4-2-09/KAFN-Statement-of-Claim/1511.html

British Columbia Wilderness Tourism Association applauds BC First Nation for going to court over salmon farming (Feb. 4, 09) http://www.huffstrategy.com/MediaManager/release/preview/0/preview/1510.html