WINNIPEG--It looks like the Kapyong court case is mired in another delay.
A group of First Nations and Ottawa were slated to begin a hearing this morning into whether Ottawa properly consulted with the bands before handing over the old barracks to a developer.
But the judge threw a wrench into the proceedings, saying lawyers for the First Nations have failed to answer key questions, including whether treaties and other land agreeements extinguished the bands' rights to Kapyong.
Later, Ottawa's lawyers criticized the bands for failing to make an application to stop the land transfer years ago when the process began. And the Crown lawyers said the bands do not have the right to Kapyong because it has strategic value and will be sold only to Canada Lands for redevelopment. Even if the land were for sale, the bands who have the right to buy surplus Crown land want Kapyong for free.
The debate illuminates the technical mess that treaty land entitlements, land claims and the right to consultation have become.
The court has taken a brief break and will reconvene later this morning, but it appears the Kapyong case will drag on for months or even years.