Despite two years of speeches about reconciliation and the recognition of First Nations rights, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Government has not changed course on fighting Nuu-chah-nulth Fishing Rights in court.
The case was originally launched in 2003, and despite multiple court decisions upholding the right for First Nations to commercially sell a portion of their marine harvests, the Conservative government launched multiple appeals.
NDP MP Gord Johns recently discovered the federal government spent $19.1 million fighting the five Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations.
Ahousaht Chief Negotiator says Nuu-chah-nulth Nations have also spent millions on the case.
Multiple Supreme Court judges have agreed with the Ahousaht, Hesquiaht, Ehattesaht, Mowachaht / Muchalaht and Tla-o-qui-aht nations, but the federal government continues to appeal their decisions.
Nuu-chah-nulth fisheries advisor Dr. Don Hall says the government’s admission they’ve spent $19 million defending the case is extremely low.
Hall says the Nuu-chah-nulth Nations have also spent millions of dollars on the case – money that could have easily been spent on other important issues.
Courtenay – Alberni MP Gord Johns is continuing his fight for Nuu-chah-nulth Fishing Rights in Ottawa.
He says Liberal claims they care about First Nations are hollow words, and the easiest action the federal government could take is to withdraw from their legal battle against five west coast First Nations.
Johns said if the Trudeau government is serious about reconciliation, they need to stop fighting the Nuu-chah-nulth Nations.