Last month, a lawyer for the Lax Kw’alaams Band appeared in the Court of Appeal to oppose the provincial government’s proposal that would effectively limit our ability to develop our reserve and title territory.
The day before he was to make his oral submissions, Band Council learned that this lawyer had submitted a factually incorrect factum, which is a document that summarises the oral submissions. It contained errors that were solely the responsibility of legal counsel and were not approved in advance by the Band.
At the direction of Harper Grey an amended factum was prepared correcting the mistakes in the original document, and the court allowed the revised factum to replace the original version. The lawyer apologized for his mistake and made it clear in his oral submissions that he was responsible, not his client, for the error in the original document. The amended factum can be read in full here ($6 fee required to view).
The essence of the mistake made by legal counsel relates to mentions of Eagle Spirit Energy as a “project”. These references were corrected to make clear that Eagle Spirit Energy is a proposal that has not been reviewed by Band Council or the community. Further, it is not a Band project and Lax Kw’alaams is not involved or invested in this proposal. It was raised by the lawyer only as an example of the sort of economic opportunities that could be eliminated by government interference in our traditional territory.
The Band has in place robust community consultation processes when assessing and potentially approving energy project proposals involving Lax Kw’alaams. These processes were implemented in recent years for the cancelled Pacific Northwest LNG project and will continue to be implemented if and when new proposals are presented to Band leadership.
Mayor Helin and Council have one clear objective: to improve the livelihood of Lax Kw’alaams members. This goal will be accomplished, in part, through the development of new economic opportunities for the Band, and while some individuals or outside influences may try to sabotage this objective, your Mayor and Council will maintain their honour and integrity as they work day and night for the benefit of our community.