Campbell et al. v. British Columbia (Attorney General) et al., [2000] B.C.T.C. 528 (SC)

JudgeWilliamson, J.
CourtSupreme Court of British Columbia (Canada)
Case DateJuly 24, 2000
JurisdictionBritish Columbia
Citations[2000] B.C.T.C. 528 (SC);2000 BCSC 1123

Campbell v. B.C. (A.G.), [2000] B.C.T.C. 528 (SC)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2000] B.C.T.C. TBEd. AU.056

Gordon M. Campbell, Michael G. de Jong and P. Geoffrey Plant (plaintiffs) v. Attorney General of British Columbia, Attorney General of Canada and The Nisga'a Nation (defendants) and The In-Shuck-ch N'Quat'qua and the First Nations Summit (interveners)

(A982738; 2000 BCSC 1123)

Indexed As: Campbell et al. v. British Columbia (Attorney General) et al.

British Columbia Supreme Court

Vancouver

Williamson, J.

July 24, 2000.

Summary:

In 1998, Canada, British Columbia and the Nisga'a Nation negotiated the Nisga'a Final Agreement (the Treaty). The Treaty, inter alia, gave the Nisga'a Nation limited legislative jurisdiction. The plaintiffs sued for a declaration that the settlement legislation enacting the Treaty was inconsistent with the Constitution and, therefore, of no force and effect to the extent which it purported to provide the Nisga'a government with legislative jurisdiction, or provided that the Nisga'a government could make laws which prevailed over federal and provincial laws or limit to Nisga'a citizens the right to vote for, or to be candidates for, Nisga'a government. In particular, the plaintiffs claimed that the parts of the Treaty that purported to bestow legislative jurisdiction upon the governing body of the Nisga'a Nation were inconsistent with the exhaustive division of powers granted to Parliament and the Provincial Legislative Assemblies by ss. 91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867. They argued that the legislative powers set out in the Treaty interfered with the concept of royal assent. Further, they argued that non-Nisga'a Canadian citizens who resided in or had other interests in the territory subject to Nisga'a government were denied democratic rights guaranteed by s. 3 of the Charter.

The British Columbia Supreme Court dismissed the plaintiffs' application. The Nisga'a Final Agreement and the settlement legislation established a treaty as contemplated by s. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. The legislation and the Treaty were constitutionally valid. The aboriginal right to self-government was not extinguished by the assertion of British sovereignty, although it was diminished. The Constitution Act, 1867 did not distribute all legislative power to the Parliament and the legislatures. It did not purport to end what remained of the royal prerogative or aboriginal and treaty rights, including the power of self-government which remained with the Nisga'a people in 1982. Therefore, s. 35 guaranteed, inter alia, the limited form of self-government that remained with the Nisga'a people after the assertion of sovereignty. The Treaty and the settlement legislation gave definition and content to that limited right as an entrenched treaty right. Because of the limitations of the Treaty and the limited guarantee provided by s. 35, the Nisga'a government did not have absolute or sovereign powers. The court rejected the argument related to royal assent. The court held that s. 25 of the Charter was a complete answer to the plaintiff's s. 3 argument. Further, the court held that the rights guaranteed by s. 3 were limited to elections for the House of Commons and legislative assemblies.

Civil Rights - Topic 104

Voting and other democratic rights - General - Application of s. 3 of Charter - See paragraphs 151 to 162.

Civil Rights - Topic 131

Voting and other democratic rights - Right to vote - Non-aboriginals within aboriginal jurisdiction - See paragraphs 151 to 162.

Civil Rights - Topic 171

Voting and other democratic rights - Right to be qualified for membership in legislature or Parliament - Non-aboriginals within aboriginal jurisdiction - See paragraphs 151 to 162.

Constitutional Law - Topic 1001

Interpretation of Constitution Act - General principles - Principle of exhaustiveness - See paragraphs 65 to 82.

Constitutional Law - Topic 1003

Interpretation of Constitution Act - General principles - Division of legislative powers - See paragraphs 62 to 82.

Constitutional Law - Topic 1004

Interpretation of Constitution Act - General principles - Preamble - See paragraphs 65 to 70.

Indians, Inuit and Métis - Topic 505

Rights - General - Effect of Constitution Act - See paragraphs 167 to 177.

Indians, Inuit and Métis - Topic 4402

Treaties and proclamations - General - What constitutes a treaty - See paragraphs 137 to 143.

Indians, Inuit and Métis - Topic 4403.1

Treaties and proclamations - General - Negotiation of - See paragraphs 167 to 177.

Indians, Inuit and Métis - Topic 5566

Lands - Land claims - Aboriginal title - Nature of - See paragraphs 112 to 115, 137 to 143.

Indians, Inuit and Métis - Topic 6001

Aboriginal rights - General - See paragraphs 65 to 82.

Indians, Inuit and Métis - Topic 6328

Government - Self-government - Claim for - See paragraphs 1 to 143.

Indians, Inuit and Métis - Topic 6329

Government - Self-government - Scope of - See paragraphs 1 to 143.

Indians, Inuit and Métis - Topic 6330

Government - Self-government - Right to vote or hold office - See paragraphs 151 to 162.

Statutes - Topic 4543

Operation and effect - Validity - Enactment procedure - Royal assent - See paragraphs 144 to 150.

Cases Noticed:

Calder v. British Columbia (Attorney General), [1973] S.C.R. 313, refd to. [para. 20].

Reference Re Remuneration of Judges of the Provincial Court (P.E.I.), [1997] 3 S.C.R. 3; 217 N.R. 1; 206 A.R. 1; 156 W.A.C. 1; 121 Man.R.(2d) 1; 158 W.A.C. 1; 156 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 1; 483 A.P.R. 1, refd to. [para. 66].

Reference Re Secession of Quebec, [1998] 2 S.C.R. 217; 228 N.R. 203, refd to. [para. 67].

Delgamuukw et al. v. British Columbia et al., [1993] 5 W.W.R. 97; 30 B.C.A.C. 1; 49 W.A.C. 1; 104 D.L.R.(4th) 470 (C.A.), consd. [para. 71].

Ontario (Attorney General) v. Canada (Attorney General), [1912] A.C. 571 (P.C.), refd to. [para. 71].

R. v. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Ex parte Indian Association of Alberta et al., [1982] 2 All E.R. 118 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 75].

Maritime Bank of Canada (Liquidators) v. New Brunswick (Receiver General), [1892] A.C. 437 (P.C.), refd to. [para. 75].

Mitchell and Milton Management Ltd. v. Peguis Indian Band et al., [1990] 2 S.C.R. 85; 110 N.R. 241; 67 Man.R.(2d) 81, refd to. [para. 80].

Guerin v. Canada, [1984] 2 S.C.R. 335; 55 N.R. 161, refd to. [para. 80].

Johnson v. M'Intosh (1823), 21 U.S. (8 Wheat) 543, consd. [para. 88].

Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831), 30 U.S. (5 Pet.) 1, consd. [para. 88].

Worcester v. Georgia (1832), 31 U.S. (6 Pet.) 515; 8 L.Ed. 483, consd. [para. 88].

R. v. Van der Peet (D.M.), [1996] 2 S.C.R. 507; 200 N.R. 1; 80 B.C.A.C. 81; 130 W.A.C. 81, refd to. [para. 89].

R. v. Sioui, [1990] 1 S.C.R. 1025; 109 N.R. 22; 30 Q.A.C. 280, refd to. [para. 94].

Connolly v. Woolrich (1867), 17 R.J.R.Q. 75; 1 C.N.L.C. 70 (Que. S.C.), consd. [para. 97].

Wewayakum Indian Band v. Wewayakai Indian Band, [1991] 3 F.C. 420; 42 F.T.R. 40 (T.D.), consd. [para. 99].

McLeod Lake Indian Band v. Chingee, [1999] 1 C.N.L.R. 106; 153 F.T.R. 257; 165 D.L.R.(4th) 358 (T.D.), consd. [para. 100].

Casimel et al. v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia (1993), 30 B.C.A.C. 279; 49 W.A.C. 279; 82 B.C.L.R.(2d) 387 (C.A.), consd. [para. 103].

Manitoba Language Rights Reference, [1985] 1 S.C.R. 721; 59 N.R. 321; 35 Man.R.(2d) 83, refd to. [para. 109].

R. v. Sparrow, [1990] 1 S.C.R. 1075; 111 N.R. 24l, consd. [para. 116].

R. v. Ignace, 156 D.L.R.(4th) 713, refd to. [para. 124].

R. v. Badger (W.C.) et al., [1996] 1 S.C.R. 771; 195 N.R. 1; 181 A.R. 321; 116 W.A.C. 321, consd. [para. 125].

Delgamuukw et al. v. British Columbia et al., [1997] 3 S.C.R. 1010; 220 N.R. 161; 99 B.C.A.C. 161; 162 W.A.C. 161, consd. [para. 129].

R. v. Pamajewon (H.) et al., [1996] 2 S.C.R. 821; 199 N.R. 321; 92 O.A.C. 241, refd to. [para. 130].

Initiative and Referendum Act (Manitoba), Re, [1919] A.C. 935 (P.C.), dist. [para. 146].

Ontario Public Service Employees Union et al. v. Ontario (Attorney General) et al., [1987] 2 S.C.R. 2; 77 N.R. 321; 23 O.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 148].

Corbière et al. v. Canada (Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs) et al., [1997] 1 F.C. 689; 206 N.R. 85; 142 D.L.R.(4th) 122 (F.C.A.), varied [1999] 2 S.C.R. 203; 239 N.R. 1, refd to. [para. 156].

Shubenacadie Indian Band v. Canadian Human Rights Commission et al., [1998] 2 F.C. 198; 138 F.T.R. 275; 154 D.L.R.(4th) 344; [1998] 2 C.N.L.R. 212 (T.D.), affd. (2000), 256 N.R. 109 (F.C.A.), refd to. [para. 156].

Haig et al. v. Canada; Haig et al. v. Kingsley, [1993] 2 S.C.R. 995; 156 N.R. 81; 105 D.L.R.(4th) 577; 16 C.R.R.(2d) 193, refd to. [para. 162].

Statutes Noticed:

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982, sect. 3 [para. 151]; sect. 25 [paras. 3, 154].

Constitution Act, 1867, sect. 55 [para. 144]; sect. 91, sect. 92 [para. 63].

Constitution Act, 1982, sect. 35 [para. 3].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Canada, Aboriginal Self-Government: The Government of Canada's Approach to Implementation of the Inherent Right and the Negotiation of Aboriginal Self-Government (1995), p. 3 [para. 175].

Dicey, A.V., Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution (10th Ed. 1959), p. 40 [para. 83].

Counsel:

S. Bradley Armstrong, Ron A. Skolrood and Marko Vesely, for the plaintiffs;

Charlotte Bell, Q.C., Gerald Donegan, Q.C., John Russell, Cheryl Kerr and Jennifer August, for the Attorney General of Canada;

Joseph J. Arvay, Q.C., and Catherine J. Parker, for the Attorney General of British Columbia;

Thomas R. Berger, Q.C., and James R. Aldridge, for the Nisga'a Nation;

Robert J.M. Janes, for the intervenor, In-SHUCK-ch N'Quat'qua;

Hugh M.G. Braker, Q.C., for the First Nations Summit.

This application was heard on May 15 to 19, 22 to 26, and 29, 2000, in Vancouver, British Columbia, before Williamson, J., of the British Columbia Supreme Court, who delivered the following judgment on July 24, 2000.

Please note: The following judgment has not been edited.

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33 practice notes
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    ...37 ...................................................... 295 Campbell v. British Columbia (Attorney General), [2000] B.C.J. No. 1524, 2000 BCSC 1123 ............................................................... 504 Campbell v. Hall (1774), 1 Cowp. 204, 98 E.R. 1045, [1558–1774] All E.R. ......
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    ...v Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, 480 US 202 (1987).................. 485 Campbell et al v AG BC/AG Cda & Nisga’a Nation et al, 2000 BCSC 1123................................................................................... 456, 484 Canada v Schmidt, [1987] 1 SCR 500, 39 DLR (4th) 18......
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    ...Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, SBC 2019, c 44 [DRIPA]. 33 Campbell et al v AG BC/AG Cda & Nisga’a Nation, 2000 BCSC 1123 at paras 156–57 [Campbell]. 34 Dickson v Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, 2020 YKSC 22 at para 200. Indigenous Rights 457 6) Basic Structure of Sec......
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    ...1, refd to. [para.129]. Campbell et al. v. British Columbia (Attorney General) et al., [2000] B.C.T.C. 528; 189 D.L.R.(4th) 333; 2000 BCSC 1123, refd to. [para. Reference Re Roman Catholic Separate High Schools Funding, [1987] 1 S.C.R. 1148; 77 N.R. 241; 22 O.A.C. 321; 40 D.L.R.(4th) 18, re......
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    • June 8, 2006
    ...1, refd to. [para.129]. Campbell et al. v. British Columbia (Attorney General) et al., [2000] B.C.T.C. 528; 189 D.L.R.(4th) 333; 2000 BCSC 1123, refd to. [para. Reference Re Roman Catholic Separate High Schools Funding, [1987] 1 S.C.R. 1148; 77 N.R. 241; 22 O.A.C. 321; 40 D.L.R.(4th) 18, re......
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    ...SCC 73 , refd to. [para. 4]. Campbell et al. v. British Columbia (Attorney General) et al., [2000] B.C.T.C. 528 ; 189 D.L.R.(4th) 333 ; 2000 BCSC 1123, consd. [para. 6]. Delgamuukw et al. v. British Columbia et al. (1993), 30 B.C.A.C. 1 ; 49 W.A.C. 1 ; 104 D.L.R.(4th) 470 (C.A.), revd......
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1 firm's commentaries
18 books & journal articles
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Constitutional Law. Fifth Edition Conclusion
    • August 3, 2017
    ...37 ...................................................... 295 Campbell v. British Columbia (Attorney General), [2000] B.C.J. No. 1524, 2000 BCSC 1123 ............................................................... 504 Campbell v. Hall (1774), 1 Cowp. 204, 98 E.R. 1045, [1558–1774] All E.R. ......
  • Table of cases, index and about the authors
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Seventh Edition
    • June 30, 2021
    ...v Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, 480 US 202 (1987).................. 485 Campbell et al v AG BC/AG Cda & Nisga’a Nation et al, 2000 BCSC 1123................................................................................... 456, 484 Canada v Schmidt, [1987] 1 SCR 500, 39 DLR (4th) 18..........
  • Indigenous Rights
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    • Irwin Books The Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Seventh Edition
    • June 30, 2021
    ...example, Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, SBC 2019, c 44 [DRIPA]. 33 Campbell et al v AG BC/AG Cda & Nisga’a Nation, 2000 BCSC 1123 at paras 156–57 [Campbell]. 34 Dickson v Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, 2020 YKSC 22 at para 200. Indigenous Rights 457 6) Basic Structure o......
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