NDP Would Submit Forestry Deal for Judicial Review

FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy committed an NDP government to immediately launch a court review of the Alward Government’s forestry strategy.

“The Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision on aboriginal title and Crown lands underscores how reckless the government has been with this last-minute forestry strategy,” Cardy said. “An NDP government will direct our Attorney-General to put the matter before the courts to gain clarity on government’s obligations to amend the Crown Lands and Forests Act.”

A reference for the Attorney-General can resolve the matter faster than a citizens’ court challenge, and is used when government believes it may be violating the law and wants to comply. Cardy emphasized the NDP strategy would be better for the environment and the economy than other approaches.

“The Conservative approach to ignoring the law creates uncertainty for investors, because any decision could be struck down by the courts. The Liberals will condemn the process, but offer uncertainty on what they would do instead. Tearing up contracts scares off the investors we want and hurts the economy. So rather than trying to get around the law, let’s use the law, let’s have certainty and sit down with First Nations, science experts and business and do this right,” he said.

“We don’t need to start tearing up contracts to challenge a reckless deal,” Cardy said. “If you want certainty this will be dealt with in a balanced, reasonable way, only the NDP offers that guarantee.”