Ratcliff Gets the Supreme Court to Set Aside the Province’s Timber Allocation Decision for Failure to Consult Ehattesaht First Nation
Ratcliff lawyers Matt Kirchner and Ava Murphy successfully applied on behalf of Ehattesaht First Nation to set aside the Ministry of Forests' decision to return over 1 million cubic meters of surplus timber that was available for reallocation to the control of Western Forest Products Inc.
Ehattesaht claims aboriginal title on the west coast of Vancouver Island which significantly overlaps with the area in which the surplus timber was located, and has a dedicated and successful forestry operation in the vicinity that employs both members and non-members. The province had not consulted with Ehattesaht about timber at all, despite engaging in extensive consultation with Western Forest Products. Ratcliff successfully argued that the province had failed to fulfil its constitutional duty to consult Ehattesaht, and the pronvince's decision was quashed.