Fort McKay First Nation files for an injunction to save Moose Lake from industrial development

On December 3, 2018 Jack Woodward commenced an action on behalf of Fort McKay First Nation for an injunction to save Moose Lake from industrial development.[1] The case is expected to prevent Alberta from authorizing underground mining of bitumen (through either SAGD[2], or an experimental microwave process[3]) in the last remaining part of Fort McKay’s territory where Treaty 8 rights can be meaningfully be exercised.[4] Fort McKay is located in the middle of the intense oil sands development area north of Fort McMurray, and has lost most of its territory to heavy industrial development.

Jack Woodward has assembled a formidable legal team to conduct the case. Including Joe Arvay, Q.C., successful counsel in the Northern Gateway pipeline challenge[5] (and who has more Supreme Court of Canada appearances than any other English-language barrister), and Matthew Kirschner of Ratcliff & Company, successful counsel in the Trans Mountain Kinder Morgan pipeline challenge[6].

[1] Fort McKay First Nation and Chief Jim Boucher v. Province of Alberta, Action #1803 23086, Dec. 3, 2018 ABQB Edmonton registry.
[2] See decision of the Alberta Energy Regulator: 2018 ABAER 005 Prosper Petroleum Ltd. Rigel Project, June 12, 2018.
[3] Application No. 1914552 for Experimental Pilot Project to Test RF Technology
[4] The law is set out clearly in Mikisew Cree First Nation v. Canada (Minister of Canadian Heritage), [2005] 3 SCR 388, 2005 SCC 69. Jack Woodward represented the Treaty 8 Tribal Association in that case.
[5] Coastal First Nations v. British Columbia (Environment), 2016 BCSC 34.  Arvay was successful in stopping the Northern Gateway pipeline project for lack of consultation with first nations.
[6] Tsleil-Waututh Nation v. Canada (Attorney General), 2018 FCA 153.  Matthew Kirschner of Ratcliffe & Company was successful in stopping the construction of the proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, on behalf of the Squamish First Nation and other first nations, based on lack of consultation.