December 2015, the plaintiffs (the coalition of First Nations and environmental groups) announced they would seek an appeal of the Yukon Court of Appeal’s decision through the Supreme Court of Canada stating that if the Court of Appeal decision is allowed to stand, allowing one party to suddenly return to step one in the exercise after all the parties thought they moved on to step three would undermine the intent of the planning process as prescribed in the Final Agreements. Therefore, they argued that YG should not be granted a chance to do it all over again. They felt that had YG been upfront and honourable in following the planning process, then at the end of the day they would be free to invoke the clause which allows accepting, rejecting or modifying recommendations from the Commission. It was only after YG rejected the Commissions Recommended Plan that they delivered and adopted their own version of a land use plan.

On June 9, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada gave notice that they would grant hearing the Peel Watershed case. The plaintiffs (the First Nation of Na Cho Nyäk Dän, the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in, the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, CPAWS Yukon and the Yukon Conservation Society, again represented by lawyer Thomas Berger and colleagues) seek overruling of the Court of Appeal decision and Justice Veale’s judgement be reinstated- adopting the Commission’s Final Recommended Plan. The defendant (Yukon Government, represented by lawyer John Laskin, and colleagues) stated at that time that they hoped the Supreme Court of Canada could "provide clarity and certainty to questions about how Yukon’s regional land use planning process should work and can make it clear that public government has the final say over public land."

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada heard the Peel Watershed Case, with the Attorney General of Canada, Gwich'in Tribal Council, and the Council for Yukon First Nations intervening. Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin prevailed over the hearing.

A summary of the case is provided here by the Supreme Court of Canada.

It is impossible to know when a decision will be reached; however, it will probably be reached by December 2017, or earlier.

Yukon Regional Planning Links

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