This case was heard in the Federal Court of Canada.
USG Canadian Mining Limited (“USG”) proposed to dredge the sea bottom of Bras d’Or Lake. An environmental assessment process was initiated, and local Mi’kmaw Bands began to prepare reports that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Minister of the Environment had agreed to consider. However, before the Bands could submit their reports, the Ministers informed them that USG’s proposal had been approved.
The Union of Nova Scotia Indians applied for judicial review of the Ministers’ approval, arguing that the Ministers had failed to consider the impact that the project might have upon Mi’kmaw persons’ Aboriginal right to fish. The Court allowed the application, set aside the Ministers’ approval of the project, and directed the Ministers to address the Aboriginal interests at stake in the proposed project.