Supreme Court refuses to hear Metis harvesting rights case, sets in motion more expansive claim

By Shari Narine Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Canada’s highest court will not hear a case of two Red River Metis men in Saskatchewan who were charged and convicted for unlawfully harvesting, one of the cases from more than a decade ago. The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an application from the Saskatchewan government for leave to appeal in the joined Boyer and Poitras case last week. Oliver Poitras, from Meadow Lake, was charged in 2012 for unlawfully hunting under The Wildlife Act. Warren Boyer, from Chitek Lake, was charged in 2014 with unlawfully fishing under The Fisheries Act. Both men argued they had Sect. 35 rights to harvest without licences in what they considered was traditional Metis territory. However, Saskatchewan argued that where Poitras was hunting, 37 km south of…

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