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Oct 18, 2023
Government argues minister appropriately factored Inuit rights in decision-making process
Lawyers representing the Government of Canada are asking a federal court judge to dismiss a lawsuit from Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA).
The court is in Iqaluit this week to hear the case, where NTI and QIA are asking to quash a decision from then-Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan, to reissue fishing licences as part of the 2021 sale of Clearwater Foods to a coalition of seven Mi’kmaq First Nations, which bought 50 per cent of the company.
Nunavut’s Inuit organizations opposing the decision have argued the minister failed to consider provisions of the Nunavut Agreement, which says the federal government should recognize the importance of the adjacency principle and “give special consideration to these factors when allocating commercial fishing licences.”
On Tuesday, lawyers for the federal government argued Jordan did, in fact, give the requisite special consideration to the provisions of the Nunavut Agreement, arguing the decision was reasonable and procedurally fair.