Ontario Court of Appeal Releases Judgment on Ontario’s Stage 1 and 2 in Robinson–Huron Treaty Annuities Case

Robinson-Huron Treaty Territory – Representatives of the Robinson-Huron
Treaty Litigation Fund welcome the judgment from the Court of Appeal that
affirms much of the trial decision and only disagrees with the trial judgment on a
limited number of issues.

The appeals were heard by five judges of the Court of Appeal which means that
there are a number of specific reasons written by different members of the
court. In the opening section of the decision the judgement states:

‘The joint reasons provide the factual background to the case and summarize the
court’s conclusions on the issues arising in the appeals. As we explain, we
unanimously reject the majority of the arguments raised on appeal. We dismiss
Ontario’s appeal from the Stage Two proceedings in its entirety …”

“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.”

The legal team for the 21 Robinson-Huron First Nations represented in this case
will conduct a thorough review and analysis of the 300-page decision to provide
a substantive assessment of the decision and the implications for the Stage 3
proceedings which will include a determination on the value of compensation
and the apportionment of the liability of the federal and provincial governments.

The Robinson-Huron leadership and the legal team will have a press conference
on Tuesday, November 9 at 10 am. Further information on this will follow.