Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 03/8/2013 9:14 AM | Comments: 0
Last Modified: 03/8/2013 3:45 PM | Updates
OTTAWA -- The federal government was "ineffectual and inequitable" in how it handed out land to Métis children in Manitoba more than 130 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled Friday.
The court ruling is a significant victory for the Manitoba Metis Federation in its negotiations with the federal government in a land-claim case that has been dragging through the courts for more than three decades.
"I think it's historic," said Tom Berger, the lawyer for the MMF. "This is a call for the federal government to negotiate with the MMF to deal with an historical wrong."
The case stemmed from Manitoba's entry into Confederation in 1870. In negotiations with the Métis, Canada agreed to deliver 1.4 million acres of land to Métis children in Manitoba.
The MMF argued the crown never lived up to its obligation and that a number of delays and mistakes meant the land was never fully delivered as promised in section 31 of the Manitoba Act.
In a 6-2 decision by the Supreme Court, the MMF won its argument.
"Although the honour of the Crown obliged the government to act with diligence to fulfill sec. 31 it acted with persistent inattention and failed to act diligently to achieve the purpose of the sec. 31 grant," the ruling says. "This was not a matter of negligence but of repeated mistakes and inaction that persisted for more than a decade, substantially defeating the purpose of sec. 31."
There was great celebration in the Supreme Court building when the decision was released as Métis people shouted with joy.
The MMF had lost its argument at both the lower court and court of appeal in Manitoba.
The decision does not bring a direct monetary obligation but will support the MMF in future negotiations with Ottawa for compensation.
Updated on Friday, March 8, 2013 at 9:38 AM CST: removes duplicate word
9:59 AM: corrects typos
11:29 AM: corrects incorrect word
3:45 PM: adds video
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
8-year sentence sought for Winnipeg man who set up bathroom spy-cams
New York fire, building collapse injure 19; gas blast blamed
Lawyers ask judge to overturn murder verdict in Hornbrook trial
Pavs' redemption continues
Turmoil in Yemen escalates as Saudi Arabia bombs rebels
CFL rules committee recommends changes for 2015 season
'Kitty, kitty' video shows lynx encounter
Co-pilot deliberately slams plane in Alps; families ask why
U of W approves indigenous course requirement
Quebec judge calls Toews to task over ignoring letter from former landlord
Friends wanted: Program matches locals with immigrant families
Kelvin High School gets extra month to raise $1 million for track and wellness centre
Wanted: info on trains blocking traffic
Peguis First Nation elects a new chief, Cindy Spence, who replaces Glenn Hudson
Barn fire kills 1,500 hogs; arson not suspected
Alberta increases taxes and fees
Parole officials impressed with progress made by Winnipeg killer
Hard to meet Rob Ford pal, drug trial hears
Co-pilot was 'very happy' with Germanwings job
Prospect Copp to join Jets right away
CBC News slashing 144 jobs, Radio-Canada cuts 100
Maternity home to offer shelter to homeless pregnant women
Airlines to have two in cockpit at all times
Ricki's, Bootlegger, Cleo in court protection
Aboriginal activists working to rock the vote
WAG's Inuit Art Centre receives $500-K donation
Firms shortlisted for $590 million transitway and Pembina underpass project
Over 96 per cent of Jets season ticket holders have renewed their terms
Verdict after Gladue's death sends painful message about whose lives are valued
Getting a charge out of research
Lawless in the Morning: Former NHLer Jeff O'Neill, Montreal Canadiens and help for the Jets
Report of suspicious man unfounded: police
U.S. must withhold aid from Egypt
Full support for roadwork list
Optimism running low among Manitoba's small business owners: survey
The deadly, human factor
Toews' lobbying to be probed
Wildlife federation pushes for ban on spot-light hunting
High hopes for low-cost grocers
Cold today and tonight, but weekend to be warmer