A Reflection on the JRP in Haida Gwaii

Last week saw the second visit of the Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel to Haida Gwaii, this time in Skidegate.  The Panel returns to the islands in June.  Here is an excerpt from the Courage to be posting on Blue Sky Haida Gwaii Blog:

We know from other such panel visitations in the past, that the quasi-judicial JRP process is an exercise in pretty raw governmental power. There are massive sets of rules and regulations, arbitrary procedures and technical requirements. Unless you are a lawyer, it’s not the most comfortable of circumstances. At face value, the purpose of the JRP is to gather evidence. But, inevitably, if you find yourself on the negative side of a proponent who is being outright supported by the federal government, it’s difficult not to see yourself forced into the position of supplicant – pleading, imploring, offering evidence and testimony in your own defence.

It’s tough to maintain a centre of dignity and integrity in a situation like that. But then, people around here have always been very good at absorbing issues of power and, always respectfully, moving forward through an entirely different axis of action. This is the history of politics on Haida Gwaii.

Read the whole entry here.

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