Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador rules that province breached Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement

24 September 2020

On September 24, 2020, in a dispute between the Nunatsiavut Government and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Justice Vikas Khaladkar of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador found in favour of the Nunatsiavut Government on all issues at trial. In its decision, the Court held that the Province had improperly calculated the Labrador Inuit revenue share from the Voisey's Bay mine and failed to discharge its duty to consult pursuant to the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, in effect since December 2005. The Court further ordered that the Inuit were entitled to damages.

In addition to being a significant victory for the Labrador Inuit, the decision recognizes the Crown's obligation  to consult, reaffirms the principles of modern treaty interpretation, and finds that the Crown's fiduciary obligations apply to the administration of the revenue sharing provisions.

Brian A. Crane Q.C., Graham S. Ragan, and John J. Wilson of Gowling WLG represented the Nunatsiavut Government in this matter.

Read our detailed case commentary

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