Local Governments and the Crown's Duty to Consult

  • Felix Hoehn BA (Hon), LLB, LLM, College of Law, University of Saskatchewan
  • Michael Stevens JD, WMCZ Lawyers, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Do municipal governments embody the Crown to the extent that they owe a duty to consult with Indigenous groups when a local government decision might detrimentally impact Aboriginal rights? The authors point to two legal trends: jurisprudential recognition of administrative bodies’ ability to satisfy the duty in certain circumstances, and the expansion of the scope and role of municipal governments. The authors argue that when a province creates local governments with broad powers, the exercise of the powers conferred on the municipal governments are still subject to constitutional limits, such as the duty to consult. The article also highlights policy and practical considerations in support of this argument.