NEWS RELEASE · 11th January 2012
Gitxsan Against Enbridge
The court case to stop negotiations of the Gitxsan Alternative Governance Model (GAGM) moves forward!
GTS has no standing to complain.
As part of their argument GTS also admitted that their own Board of Directors was invalid, because all members are appointed under an invalid GTS bylaw which gave the power to appoint Board members to the Clans. In other words, GTS admitted to the Court that it has no valid board, and never has had one.
Before GTS was finished making their arguments, Judge McEwan stopped them and told GTS that they had admitted that their Board was illegal, and that it was therefore functioning illegally, and it wasn’t clear that an illegal board could make any decisions, including a motion in court. He questioned how GTS could say that the plaintiffs have no standing to bring their action, when it was GTS that had no standing since their board was illegal. He would not allow GTS to finish their arguments, saying it was a waste of time, and adjourned the motion without deciding it.
What is clear from today's hearing is that GTS has no valid board, and all its actions have been and are illegal. This supports the plaintiffs case that GTS should be shut down. The defendant Canada and the Province also intended to make an application to strike out the plaintiffs claims against them before the trial. These motions were supposed to go ahead on January 10th, however may now be delayed as a result of what happened in court.
Judge McEwan has asked that all the parties come back to Court on Wednesday morning to report to him on what they intend to do and whether the Crowns wish to go ahead with their motion. The trial of the Spookw court case is scheduled to go ahead in Smithers March 19, 2012 - May 2012. Judge McEwan will be the trial judge.
We encourage all Gitxsan people to continue to be involved because of the serious impact it may have on you, including the loss of your Indian status. GTS refuses to be open, transparent and accountable and continues to negotiate their GAGM despite all opposition. We encourage you to stand up and let your voices be heard! Together we can stop the GTS from negotiating away our rights.