Back to News Sudbury Star   Harold Carmichael

Oct 15, 2019


Member Story

Robinson-Huron Treaty lawsuit resumes

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Now that the provincial government has failed to reopen an historic legal case, the second phase of a lawsuit filed by Robinson-Huron Treaty First Nations is set to begin in Sudbury on Tuesday.

The hearings will help sort out how much and who pays annuities owed to the First Nations under the 1850 treaty. The case resumes Tuesday at the Radisson Hotel in the Rainbow Centre. Nine days of court time are booked.

The lengthy Phase 1 of the trial was completed in Greater Sudbury in June of 2018, with Superior Court Justice Patricia Hennessy reserving her decision.

“I find that the Crown was a mandatory and reviewable obligation to increase the treaties’ annuities when the economic circumstances warrant,” Hennessy said in her ruling released in December. “The economic circumstances will trigger an increase to the annuities if the net Crown resource-based revenues permit the Crown to increase the annuities without incurring a loss.

“The principle of honour of the Crown and the doctrine of fiduciary duty impose on the Crown the obligation to diligently implement the treaties’ promise to achieve their purpose (i.e. of reflecting the value of the territories in the annuities) and other related justiciable duties.”

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