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Business Council of British Columbia statement regarding the Tsilhqot'in Nation v. British Columbia Supreme Court decision (The Roger William's Case)

June 26, 2014 (Vancouver, BC) – Greg D’Avignon, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council of British Columbia issues the following statement in response to today’s Supreme Court of Canada decision in the Tsilhqot’in Nation case against the Province of British Columbia: 

“For well over a decade, and increasingly over the past number of years, businesses working on the land base in British Columbia have been engaging collaboratively with First Nations to build new economic relationships. This model of engagement and reconciliation is now the well-established path to ensuring that economic activity on the land base provides benefits to First Nations, businesses and non-aboriginal British Columbians in a manner consistent with the aboriginal rights and title interests that exist in Canada under the Constitution. 

“Given the complexity of the case, we will be examining the ramifications of this ruling for business and industry in B.C. over the coming days.  However, our initial view is that today’s Supreme Court decision is an important clarification of aboriginal title and provides for greater certainty around the application of provincial law and regulation on the land base in British Columbia.  The Business Council will work closely with member companies, government and First Nations to determine the implications of the decision going forward. 

“The Business Council notes that our member companies have, for the past two decades, negotiated and implemented hundreds of agreements that seek to provide investment certainty and shared benefits with First Nations.  In addition, the Government of British Columbia has a significant number of economic reconciliation tools, including revenue sharing and other measures, which are designed to provide benefits and certainty as government moves down the path of reconciling economic activity with aboriginal rights and title interests.” 

About the Business Council of British Columbia 

The Business Council of British Columbia, now in its 48th year as the premier business organization in British Columbia, is a non-partisan organization made up of 250 leading companies, post-secondary institutions and organizations from across BC’s diverse economy which supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across the province.  The Council provides timely and exceptional public-policy research and advice on issues to enhance BC’s competiveness and prosperity. 

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Media Contact:
Cheryl Maitland Muir
Director of Communications and Events
Business Council of British Columbia
Direct: 604-696-6582
Mobile: 604-812-5965
www.bcbc.com
@bizcouncilbc