Michael Fortier Speaks with Law Times About Indigenous Engagement

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.

You can read more about Torys’ work in the Environmental Practice here, and our Aboriginal Practice here.

Our lawyers have also written about the duty to consult, which can be read here


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