To: Membership, Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation
From: Chief & Council
Date: December 2, 2016
Re: Treaty Annuities Update
Dear Band Members,
Please find attached a memo from Maurice Law providing information on the upcoming Specific Claim decision on December 12th:
“To: Chief and Council, Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation (“Beardy’s”)
From: Ron S. Maurice / Steven W. Carey
File: Treaty Annuities Claim
Date: November 30, 2016
Subject: Briefing Note Re: Specific Claims Tribunal Compensation Decision
This Briefing Note provides the Council with an overview of the recent developments and next steps in the Treaty Annuities Claim.
On November 25, 2016, the Tribunal released a Notice stating that its decision on compensation for the Beardy’s & Okemasis Annuities Claim would be “issued on December 12, 2016, or following 24 hours further notice to the parties at a date thereafter.” It is important to note that the Tribunal only issues a decision on compensation but it is the responsibility of the Government of Canada to pay the amount owing to the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation.
Under the Specific Claims Tribunal Act, once the Tribunal’s decision on compensation is released, either party has 30 days within which to file an application for judicial review to the Federal Court of Appeal. Although there are some technical legal distinctions between an appeal and judicial review, the two are very similar in effect. If the Tribunal’s decision proceeds to judicial review before the Federal Court of Appeal, a party seeking judicial review will attempt to have the decision overturned on the grounds that the Tribunal made an error in law or jurisdiction. If the matter proceeds to the Federal Court of Appeal, we would anticipate that the process would take approximately 1 to 1.5 years to conclude. It should also be noted that the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision on judicial review could itself be subject to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
If there is a judicial review (or subsequent appeal), the Tribunal’s decision is technically not final and compensation would not be paid until the judicial review or appeal is completed.
Alternately, if neither party seeks judicial review of the Tribunal’s decision within 30 days after the decision is released on December 12th, the matter is concluded and final. We would estimate compensation to be paid to the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation within 30 to 45 days after that (ie. in mid to late February 2017).
Without knowing what the Tribunal’s decision will say, it is impossible to predict the likelihood of either party applying for judicial review. If the decision is favourable to the Crown, we would likely recommend that Beardy’s seek judicial review. If the decision is favourable to Beardy’s, however, it’s riskier for the Crown to file for judicial review because the Tribunal’s judgment could become a binding precedent that applies to all lower courts and the Tribunal itself if the Court of Appeal upholds it.
If the decision is favourable to Beardy’s as we expect it to be, we would seek to meet with Crown counsel immediately after the decision is released to emphasize the risk to Canada if they seek judicial review, and advocate that they simply accept the judgment and expedite the payment of compensation owing to Beardy’s and the other First Nations that have similar claims.
We trust the above has been of assistance. Please do not hesitate to contact me or Steven Carey should you have any further questions or any other matters you wish to discuss.
Per: <<original signed by Ron S. Maurice>>”
See the original memo to Chief & Council here.
– Chief & Council