Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 01/21/2013 2:30 PM | Comments: 0
OTTAWA – For the second time the federal government is appealing a court decision requiring it to fully consult with Treaty One First Nations in Manitoba before selling the Kapyong Barracks site.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Defence said the government filed its appeal late Friday afternoon.
"The main grounds for appeal are that the Federal Court Judge made errors in law with respect to what he ordered and his analysis of the Duty to Consult," said Kathleen Guillot.
This will indefinitely extend the legal battle over the 160 acres of prime real estate at Kenaston Boulevard and Grant Avenue which has now lasted more than five years.
In 2004, the Princess Patricia Light Infantry Unit abandoned the barracks to move west to Shilo, Man. Three years later, the federal government declared the barracks land surplus and moved to sell it to the Canada Lands Company for $8.6 million. CLC, a Crown corporation that redevelops surplus federal land, planned a mix of homes and businesses on the site.
But the seven Treaty One First Nations argue a 1997 agreement gave them the right of first refusal when surplus federal land become available, to fulfill outstanding land entitlements from the 1871 Treaty One. They went to court to challenge Ottawa’s decision to sell it without consulting or offering to sell to the First Nations first.
The land in question is only the 160 acres of the barracks themselves, and does not include the military homes surrounding the barracks. That parcel was to be dealt with separately.
In 2009, a federal court judge ordered Ottawa to freeze any sale of the land until consultations were undertaken with the bands. That decision was rescinded on appeal in 2011 and the case was returned to the lower court for another hearing. A second federal judge last month again ordered Ottawa to consult with the First Nations, this time four of the seven.
Ottawa is now appealing that second decision.
Since 2005, taxpayers have spent $14.7 million on the empty barracks, including for utilities, operations and maintenance, property taxes, site security and site management. Several hundred thousand dollars have also been spent by Ottawa on legal fees.
Treaty One First Nations want to develop the site to generate income for their bands, and have said they would be open to ideas that work for both the city and the First Nations.
In December, a high-placed Conservative government source told the Free Press the government was open to selling the land to the First Nations but only on the condition the land not to be turned into an urban reserve.
No date is yet set to argue the appeal.
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
Human rights complaints piling up in Manitoba
Local theatres pulling The Interview after threats
Gang members get lengthy sentences for killing teen rival
Mounties launch investigation into $210-M police HQ project
Teen's death manslaughter, court rules
Holiday Checkstop Program out in full force
Roommate sentenced to 15 years for grisly killing
Trucking firm in mourning after driver killed in crash
Pedestrian in hospital after being hit by bus
Man arrested after woman found dead in motel
ELA granted charitable status
Treaties among documents to be on display at CMHR
Wholesale industry rebounds in October
D-Day vet receives Legion of Honour
City, Shindico still at odds over expropriation
Major flooding possible in 2015: report
Mardi Gras to be held Feb. 13 & 14
Mainly sunny today, but chilly
17% approval blamed on rebels
Jury deciding fate of HIV-positive woman
Generosity our hallmark
Negligent mom blames abuse
On-site tap rooms pondered at local craft breweries
Shelter OK to run itself after changes made: NDP
Bruinooge accused of conflict
A pooch's present