Canada’s top court dives deep into duty to consult issue

Indigenous groups and Ottawa divided over duty to consult on new laws.

The Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments Monday that may change the way laws are made if the court agrees governments are required to consult First Nations over new legislation.

“The reality is right now … governments can pick or choose whether they consult about legislation, so it could be a law that directly hit reserves, a law that directly hits hunting or trapping rights, fishing rights,” said Robert Janes, lawyer for Mikisew Cree First Nation.

Seven Indigenous groups had their voices heard, while five provincial attorney generals argued on the side of the Crown.

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