Bob has a diverse business law practice, focusing on commercial real estate, real estate development, commercial leasing, municipal law, zoning, property assessment, administrative law and general commercial litigation. Over the past 20 years he has developed considerable expertise in natural resource development and aboriginal law, particularly consultation and negotiations with First Nations and Aboriginal communities and groups. Bob represented a major utility in extensive negotiations with several First Nations, the Government of Manitoba and the Government of Canada, and continues to advise and represent resource developers in building relationships and resolving conflicts with Aboriginal peoples. Bob also advises on consultations with Aboriginal peoples in connection with the allocation of Crown resources and project licensing.
Representative Cases/Transactions: Aboriginal
Counsel to Manitoba Hydro in the negotiation and conclusion of comprehensive and specific agreements with more than 25 First Nations and Aboriginal Communities in Manitoba related to northern hydro-electric development and flooding involving, in aggregate, more than $250 million in compensation.
Counsel to Keeseekoowenin First Nation in a successful multi-million dollar specific claim against Canada arising from the forced relocation of that First Nation from the Riding Mountain area of the province of Manitoba to accommodate a federal park.
Counsel to Manitoba Hydro in negotiating Agreements in Principle with Nisichawaysihk Cree Nation in connection with the development of the approximately $1.6 billion, 200 megawatt Wuskwatim Generating Station and with the Tataskweyak Cree Nation in connection with the proposed development of the approximately $3.2 billion, 600 megawatt Keeyask Generating Station on the Nelson River in Northern Manitoba.
One of a team of counsel to Manitoba Hydro involved in concluding final partnering and development agreements for the Wuskwatim and Keeyask Generating Stations arising from the Agreements in Principle.
Counsel to forestry and mining companies and to the Mining Association of Manitoba Inc. in relation to Aboriginal and Treaty rights and the Crown obligations of consultation and accommodation.
Real Estate Development
Local counsel to Bentall Properties and Canadian National Railway on the development of the TD Centre Office Tower at Portage and Main in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Local counsel to Cadillac Fairview on the multi-million dollar re-development of the Polo Park Shopping Centre and the development of the Portage Place Shopping Centre.
Counsel to a number of Manitoba municipalities, businesses, property owners and developers in connection with tax assessments and liabilities, re-zonings, building by-laws and permits, variations, conditional uses and other development matters.
Counsel on a large number of expropriations, acting in some instances for the expropriating authority and in others for land owners whose properties have been expropriated and whose businesses have been disturbed.
Counsel on a large variety of issues before the Municipal Board of Manitoba, the Clean Environment Commission of Manitoba, the Public Utilities Board of Manitoba, the Highway Traffic Board of Manitoba, the Municipal Board of Ontario and other administrative and quasi-judicial boards and tribunals.
Chair of the Criminal Code Review Board of Manitoba from 1996 to 2006 and Alternate Chair from 2006 to present.
Arbitrator on the Manitoba Labour Board's Arbitrators List.
Has appeared before all levels of courts in Manitoba and in the Supreme Court of Canada. The matters have involved a broad range of issues including appeals from decisions of the Municipal Board; an action to compel the Province of Manitoba to honour a Ministerial commitment; an action against the Province of Manitoba in relation to the ownership of minerals; applications for and against injunctive relief; and actions arising out of commercial contracts, leases, construction contracts, builders liens and construction disputes.
Achievements: Bob was selected by his peers to be included in the 2008 Edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada in the specialty of Aboriginal Law. He was also selected to be included in the 2010 and 2011 Edition for Aboriginal Law and Real Estate Law.
Bob is named in the 2008 and 2010 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory in the category of Property Development.
Bob has been honoured and received awards from the Tataskweyak Cree Nation, the O Pipon Na Piwin Cree Nation and the Keeseekoowenin First Nation.
Legal Teachings: Sessional lecturer for the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Law in Municipal Planning Law
Occasional lecturer for the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice on the topic of Independence