Kapp Gives Affirmative Action Wide Margins

Dianne Pothier


In a recent Charter decision on aboriginal fishing rights, the Supreme Court of Canada gives wide and promising leeway to governments adopting affirmative action programs.

R. v. Kapp, [2008] S.C.J. No. 42 involved a constitutional challenge. It was brought by mostly non-aboriginal commercial fishers against a government strategy allowing 24 hours to be reserved as an exclusive salmon fishery in the Fraser River for three aboriginal bands. This brief exclusive aboriginal commercial fishery was created through a negotiated agreement under the federal government’s “Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy.”


Aboriginal Law; Fish and Wildlife; SCC Cases

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