Supreme Court Justice A. Saunders found that the Province did not properly consult with the First Nation on the licences, but is not liable for damages in that matter due to a lack of evidence that clearly caused the blockade.
However, the court also decided that the Province failed to warn Moulton Contracting of the Behns’ plans to block access to the road, after George Behn advised the government of their intention months ahead of time. The $1.75 million awarded covers the estimated loss of revenue for the company on those timber licenses during the 2006 to 2007 winter logging season.
In Justice Saunders’ decision, additional claims that the Behns, Treaty 8 Tribal Chief Liz Logan and the Fort Nelson First Nation intended and conspired to interfere with Moulton Contracting’s contractual rights and prospective business interests were dismissed.
The Behns lost their Supreme Court appeal earlier this year alleging that breach of the duty to consult and treaty rights as a defence was an abuse of process. The family had claimed the company’s licenses were void as they violated treaty rights by not consulting with the First Nation, as the land is located in their territory.