Yukon government urges Supreme Court not to hear Peel case
Territory says appeal court rulings not 'an issue of national or public importance'
The Yukon government is urging the Supreme Court of Canada not to hear an appeal in the Peel Watershed land use planning dispute.
Its arguments are made in documents submitted to the Supreme Court and obtained by CBC News.
Yukon First Nations and environmental groups have asked the Supreme Court to overturn a decision on the Peel planning process by the Yukon Court of Appeal.
They say it does not uphold Yukon land claim agreements. They also say it would let the government scrap land use plans altogether.
But the territorial government says this is not a case the Supreme Court should get involved in. It says there is no issue of national or public importance at stake.
Jill Pangman, the interim director of the Yukon chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, said the Peel landscape itself is of "national and international significance." In an email to CBC, she wrote that the case will influence the course of future land use planning in Yukon.
"Currently the public has no appetite to engage in this or future land use planning processes," Pangman wrote. "Trust has been severely breached and it will not easily be regained."
The government says the appeal court has already ruled the Peel process should re-start at the point where the government took it off the rails. Government lawyers argue the point at which that happened is not important enough to warrant intervention by the Supreme Court.
The government also argues the appeal court rightfully ruled that the government is not legally required to accept completed land use plans.