In a decision made Thursday, the B.C. Court of Appeal overturned the earlier decision that ordered the provincial government to pay Moulton Contracting Ltd. for the failed logging operations in the Fort Nelson area.
What happened was that months before logging operations were to start, the B.C. Ministry of Forests received a threat from the Fort Nelson First Nation that access to the logging site would be blocked if the project went ahead.
“The province did not inform Moulton of this threat until two months later, after Moulton had started logging,” the court found.
“The blockade went up a few days after that and Moulton was never able to complete the logging under the timber sale licences.”
Within weeks after the blockade went up, Moulton released all its workers, and by the next year, the equipment it intended to use to harvest the trees was repossessed.
In total, the company only harvested and sold about $67,000 worth of logs.
One of the points Moulton had argued was that the provincial government had earlier promised “all necessary consultation” with first Nations was completed and that it wasn’t aware of any dissatisfaction.
However, the three-judge appeal panel determined that “there is no persuasive legal authority” that the province had to let Moulton know about any First Nations dissatisfaction.