November 28, 2017
Torys environmental and aboriginal law partner Michael Fortier has told Law Times that building relationships with indigenous communities can provide longevity to a project.
Michael’s comments is a part of an article that discusses how the right engagement with indigenous peoples in a project’s environmental assessment phase can mean less exacerbation around issues to do with the duty to consult.
Fortier told Law Times he encourages his clients to foster a relationship with affected indigenous communities rather than treating the duty to consult as a checklist.
“That can be a mechanical exercise as opposed to taking a step back and really focusing on the relationship aspect,” Michael told Law Times.
“If it’s all seen in a relationship aspect, then your approach becomes significantly different.”
He said for a project to be successful in the long run, the relationship is required.
“Oftentimes, the transactional mindset gets you to getting your permit. A relationship aspect naturally flows that a permit is just one part of it,” he told the publication.
Michael told Law Times with a relationship, the outcomes are far better because there is trust and an ability to deal with a changeover of players on both side.
Our lawyers have also written about the duty to consult, which can be read here.