April 20th, 2021
GORD JOHNS STATEMENT ON TODAY’S COURT OF APPEALS RULING
I am both relieved and encouraged by today's ruling of the British Columbia Court of Appeal which removed inappropriate restrictions to the rights of these five Nuu-chah-nulth Nations to catch and sell fish. This is the most recent court decision re-affirming Indigenous fishing rights and overturns the lower court decision that has caused enormous expense to these Nations and hardship for families.
I call on Prime Minister Trudeau, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Bernadette Jordan and Indigenous and Crown Relations Minister Carolyne Bennett to embrace today’s court ruling as a way forward rather than continuing the policy of minimizing the fishing rights of the five Nations since the original trial decision was handed down in 2009. This is the third time this matter has been addressed by the Court of Appeals since then.
Canada should immediately abandon fighting these Nations in court and instead persue reconciliation through the negotiation of sufficient allocations and fishing opportunities in recognition of their rights. To do otherwise is unacceptable to Canadians.