Newsletter Vol. V No. 6 (May 23, 2014)

Catch up on all things MLI with our latest newsletter.

Highlights of this edition include a new paper by University of Saskatchewan professor on the “duty to consult” with Aboriginal groups. The study, titled “The Rule and Role of Law: the duty to consult, Aboriginal communities, and the Canadian natural resources sector”, is designed to clear up some misconceptions about this constitutional doctrine and suggest alternative approaches that will provide greater benefits for governments, Aboriginal groups and businesses. Newman argues that, contrary to what many seem to believe, the doctrine does not give Aboriginal groups a “veto” over projects like natural resource developments. At the same time, governments and businesses can’t simply ignore the duty to consult and still expect to fall inside the bounds of constitutionality. Newman recommends that governments, Aboriginal groups and businesses use the doctrine as a “lever” that brings everyone to the table. This, he says, will allow Aboriginals to share in the benefits from resource development projects.

The newsletter also highlights an MLI commentary that calls for a new consensus around natural resource development in Canada. The commentary is based on a talk Managing Director Brian Lee Crowley delivered to Le cercle de la finance internationale in Montreal in May. He argues that Canadians used to generally agree that well-managed natural resource projects were in the national interest. Now, with ongoing protests from a handful of vocal minorities across the country, that consensus is rapidly fragmenting. Crowley says it’s time for Canadians to recognize the importance of natural resources to the economy and create the conditions under which they can thrive.

Writing in the Globe and Mail, MLI Senior Fellow Benjamin Perrin responded to a recently released RCMP report that examines the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. Perrin, a law professor who has written extensively on human trafficking, argues against those who say the report is proof that a national inquiry is needed. Instead, he says, there should be a renewed focus on prevention from local police forces and various levels of government.

MLI Senior Fellow Linda Nazareth enters the debate surrounding temporary foreign workers with her entry into our Straight Talk series of Q&A’s. She argues that discussion of the issue has been heavily skewed towards highlighting the program’s negative aspects. In her response, she highlights the need that many businesses – such as those in the information technology sector – have for TFWs and suggests changes that would keep the program’s core features while improving some of its shortcomings.

The newsletter also has information on a Globe and Mail column from MLI Senior Fellow Ken Coates on young people trying to enter the middle class, an article in the Law Times that discusses a recent MLI report on the importance of mandatory minimum sentences in upholding the rule of law, stories featuring interviews with Crowley on a European court’s decision that forces Google to remove search results when people request them, and the latest MLI op-eds, commentaries and media coverage.