Yes. That was the very first time there was anything that MKO would recognize as a crown-first nation consultation process.
I'd like to advise the committee that within months of the Sparrow decision, MKO correctly recognized the significance and requested in April 1991 that the Province of Manitoba engage us in a working group to codify and implement the duty to consult.
Essentially, if you look at all of MKO's letters and submissions and reports that go back to that period of time, they're all absolutely consistent with the doctrine later established by the Supreme Court. We were trying to engage the governments, both federal and provincial, and corporations within the province in what is now recognized as a constitutional obligation of the crown.
In the case of Repap and Tolko, for example, they built something like 1,200 stream crossings for all their forest routes. It was MKO that pointed out that, first, they didn't have authorizations under the Fisheries Act; and second, they hadn't consulted. So after first being told there was no need for those authorizations under the Fisheries Act, the departmental officials involved then began to paper wrap all these stream crossings, again without any formal consultation.
There now are the interim guidelines issued by the Government of Canada that are being applied. But for example, there is a consultation that has been triggered by Fisheries and Oceans Canada on the Kelsey re-runnering project. That is an 82 megawatt increase in overall capacity at the existing Kelsey generating station. Kelsey happens to be sitting at a very critical juncture for the connection of sturgeon habitat between Sipiwesk Lake and the lower Nelson River. There was a report, of which I was a co-author, that was presented in August of last year. The other author is Dr. Terry Dick, a former NSERC research chair and the individual who wrote the original assessment of lake sturgeon for COSEWIC's consideration. I added the traditional knowledge component; he added the science.
That report has never been responded to by either Manitoba Hydro or the Department of Fisheries, so that consultation has ground to a halt.
So it depends on what's going on. If it's a Major Project Management Office initiative, the consultations are proceeding in some form. If it's below the radar and it's been demanded by a first nation....
We've prepared these template letters, which are described as notice of demand for the conduct of a crown-first nation accommodation process, that our first nations fill out with the appropriate information and send in. With those, even though the consultation may be formally engaged, typically it doesn't proceed. There are a number of those within our region that involve Canada that are not proceeding.