This case comment questions the neutrality of government environmental assessment reviews in Canada, through an examination of the proposed Tulsequah Chief Mine in Northern BC. The author questions whether a government which openly promotes development can or will ever place sustainability of a region on an equal level with economic gains. In the case of the Tulsequah Chief mine, the Taku River Tlingit First Nation opposes the project on grounds of regional sustainability. The litigation between the Tlingits, the BC Government and the Redfern Mining Corporation has raised issues regarding the fiduciary duty of governments to considering the claims of first peoples as part of the determination of sustainability for a region. Current government policies of ignoring cries for land claim settlements, while supporting incomplete development proposals, run contrary to the recommendations of the 1977 Berger Report of the MacKenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry. The author compares the costly, negative effects of hasty mine approvals to date, versus the commitment to sustainability demonstrated by settling land claims and working with remote first nations as development partners. The author concludes that communities who will be affected by development must be able to accommodate the changes that development will bring.
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Anna J Pugh, "Too Much for a Nation to Bear: Questions of Sustainability and Consultation in Environmental Reviews; The Case of the Tulsequah Chief Mine" (2004) 13 Dal J Leg Stud 211.