Court of Appeal issues decision in Robinson Huron Treaty case
Representatives of the Robinson-Huron Treaty Litigation Fund are welcoming a decision from the Court of Appeal for Ontario.
The court has unanimously rejected the majority of the province’s arguments raised on its appeal of the Stage One decision and all of Ontario’s arguments regarding Stage Two.
“Stage One focused on the interpretation of the Treaties; Stage Two considered the Crown’s defences,” states an overview prepared by staff at the Court of Appeal for Ontario to help the public understand the court’s decision. “Stage Three, which is scheduled to commence in the spring of 2022, will determine damages and the allocation of liability between Canada and Ontario.”
“Our initial analysis of the judgement is that the Court of Appeal affirms the enforceability of the treaty and the obligation of the Crown to increase the annuities,” said Chief Dean Sayers of Batchewana First Nation. “This decision shows yet again that Ontario must drop these lengthy and unnecessary appeals.”
“The affirmation of the trial judges’ decision regarding enforceability and treaty interpretation adds the Court of Appeal voice for the need for the parties to negotiate a settlement,” said Ogimaa Duke Peltier of Wiikwemkoong. “We, again, urge the Government of Ontario to commit to negotiate a settlement of this matter. The Government of Canada and the Robinson-Huron leadership are both ready, willing and able.”
A thorough review and analysis of the 300-page decision will be undertaken by the legal team for the 21 Robinson-Huron First Nations represented in this case.
A petition from a group of Robinson Huron Treaty supporters is being delivered to MPP Vic Fedeli’s office Friday afternoon.
They’re calling on the province to come to the table and negotiate an honourable outcome.
PHOTO: It is a major victory for First Nations that fall under the Robinson-Huron Treaty with the province of Ontario losing both appeals. Chief Dean Sayers of Batchewana First Nation says their initial analysis of the judgement is that the Court of Appeal affirms the enforceability of the treaty and the obligation of the Crown to increase the annuities. Photo provided by Gimaa Dean Sayers via FB and used with permission.