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Jukasa News Update Thursday, December 19, 2019


Lawyers for the federal government are asking the court of appeals to toss out legal challenges to the Trans Mountain pipeline, claiming that a new round of consultations done with indigenous nations affected by the pipeline are adequate enough for the project to go ahead.
The pipelines approval was shot down by a Vancouver court in August of last year.
Challenges to the pipeline were originally made by six First Nations communities in BC whose territory is along the pipeline’s pathway along with the support of the City of Vancouver and local environmental groups. Now two of the six indigenous nations involved have signed deals with Trans Mountain Corporation and issued their consent for the project to proceed.
The appeal is expected to be heard for three days in BC, with the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan acting as interveners in support of the pipelines completion.

A Newfoundland First Nation has announced a study of genetic links between its members and ancient Indigenous inhabitants of the island, including the Beothuk people.
The Miawpukek First Nation said the study offers an opportunity to match scientific evidence against oral stories that trace family histories back to the Beothuk _ widely thought to be extinct.
The project, announced this month, is titled “Genetic relationships among the Mi’kmaq Miawpukek First Nation, ancient Beothuk, and other Native- and Euro-Americans.” It will be done in partnership with Terra Nova Genomics, Inc. and funded by a National Geographic Explorer’s grant of US$30,000.
Researchers plan to begin looking at DNA testing kits from a sample group of 20 people. Carr says the ideal candidate is a registered member of the Miawpukek First Nation who can trace their mother’s side ancestry through the Mi’kmaq community before the First Nation was established.

Ontario says it will not release a third-party study of Hamilton’s light-rail line that led to the project’s cancellation.
A spokesman for Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney says the report contains proprietary and commercial information that cannot be released to the public.
Mulroney said Monday the cost of the project _ initially pegged at $1 billion _ has now grown to $5.5 billion.
That cost includes $950 million in municipal operating costs, according to a summary of the consultant’s findings released by the government.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is demanding the province release the full report so its findings can be verified.

Family doctors in British Columbia are being urged to annually screen every patient starting at age 12 to prevent addiction to alcohol.
The new guideline encourages primary-care doctors to provide treatment and ongoing care themselves unless a complicated addiction has taken hold.
There were 17,000 alcohol-related deaths across Canada in 2017, up by 2,000 fatalities from three years earlier, according to the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research at the University of Victoria.

An Ontario court has ruled border guards at a crossing between a Canadian island and the rest of the country were wrong to search an Indigenous man’s vehicle on grounds that he had a criminal record and associated with others convicted of breaking the law.
In a decision released last Friday, Ontario Superior Court Justice Nathalie Champagne said Kanawake man Jody Swamp’s criminal record didn’t justify the search that led him to be charged under the Customs Act in 2017.
Swamp was charged with multiple offences after border guards found American firecrackers in his car during a secondary inspection.
He was acquitted after the trial judge found border guards at a mixed-traffic crossing such as the one in Cornwall can’t question or search travellers coming from within Canada, but the Crown appealed the ruling.
In her decision, Champagne said that while the trial judge erred in his interpretation of the law on mixed-traffic crossings, the search was nonetheless unjustified and the acquittal should be upheld.

A contempt of court hearing for three Indigenous women arrested at a construction site north of Halifax has been rescheduled for late April in the latest of a series of delays.
The women’s lawyer, Michael McDonald, is arguing before Nova Scotia Supreme Court that the women had the right to be on Alton Natural Gas property along the Shubenacadie River.
The three defendants, Darlene Gilbert, Madonna Bernard and Paula Isaac, were taken into custody in April after they allegedly broke an injunction to stay off the work site.
Alton Gas plans to use water from the 73-kilometre tidal river to create large underground storage caverns, but the three women say they fear the waterway cutting through the centre of the province will be polluted from the briny discharges.
Justice Timothy Gabriel said in court that arguments McDonald made this summer were procedurally incorrect and asked him to refile his position by February.
The parties also said in court they will resume the contempt hearing on April 27 and 28.

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