[Sust-mar] MEDIA RELEASE: Lawsuit to protect Labrador rivers and fisheries goes to Court

Paul Falvo pfalvo at chebucto.ns.ca
Fri Nov 3 09:59:11 EST 2006

Sierra Legal
For Immediate Release: November 1, 2006

*/Lawsuit to protect /**/Labrador/**/ rivers and fisheries goes to Court/*

TORONTO – The Federal Court of Appeal will hear a case today commenced 
by Sierra Legal on behalf of the Labrador Metis Nation, the aim of which 
is to have fish bearing rivers of Newfoundland and Labrador adequately 
protected from continued construction and operation of the 
Trans-Labrador Highway.

Construction of the Trans-Labrador Highway has taken place over the past 
several years. Members of the LMN contend that the design and 
construction of causeways, combined with bridges and culverts, has 
resulted in extensive destruction of fish habitat and obstruction of 
fish bearing rivers and streams.

In order to address LMN concerns, and as a last resort, private 
prosecutions were brought under the Federal /Fisheries Act /in the fall 
of 2003 by an LMN member against the Province of Newfoundland and 
Labrador for allowing the destruction of fish habitat and the blockage 
of salmon bearing rivers by the building of causeways and bridges 
between Red Bay and Cartwright on the Paradise and St. Lewis Rivers.

The Attorney General of Canada stepped in and stayed the prosecutions in 
2004 with no consultations with LMN members. The LMN argues that the 
prosecutions should not have been stayed as they are in the public 
interest and there is sufficient evidence to support them.

“Proper management of the Labrador fisheries is integral to the LMN’s 
traditional values,” says Chris Montague, President of the LMN. “At the 
very least, the federal government could have sat down with us and 
discussed our concerns as to why these rivers are so important to our 

“Even if the Attorney General wasn’t prepared to carry the prosecutions, 
it could have respected the aboriginal rights of the LMN and let the LMN 
continue the prosecutions and have its day in Court,” said Robert Wright 
of Sierra Legal, counsel for the LMN.


*For more information, please contact:*

Bert Pomeroy, Communications

Labrador Metis Nation, Happy Valley-Goose Bay

(709) 896-0592

Robert Wright or Justin Duncan, Counsel

Sierra Legal

(416) 368-7533

/*Sierra Legal - Advocates for the Environment - 
*//*www.sierralegal.org*/ <http://www.sierralegal.org>

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