Alberta court approves oil sands lawsuits
Aboriginal groups seek justice over energy development on traditional land
EDMONTON:An Alberta court says a northern aboriginal group’s lawsuit claiming damages for 15 years of energy development on traditional lands can proceed.
But a Queen’s Bench judge also says that even if the Beaver Lake band wins its case, it can’t ask the government to revoke more than 19,000 development permits already issued for the area.
The provincial and federal governments fought to have the lawsuit thrown out.
They have called it frivolous.
Judge Beverley Browne ruled the band raises important questions about what governments owe aboriginals when they approve developments on traditional land.
The Beaver Lake band says both governments have failed to monitor cumulative impacts of energy development and they are now affecting its way of life.