The late Harry Daniels who initiated
Daniels v Canada.
(Ottawa – November 20, 2014) In response to the announcement today that the Supreme Court has granted leave to hear an appeal on Daniels v. Canada, Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President Gary Lipinski declared that the MNO would seek intervener status during hearings for the case expected in 2015.
“We would have preferred if the Supreme Court had chosen to not hear the case,” explained Lipinski, “as the Federal Court of Canada ruling earlier this year clarified all issues impacting Métis but since the case will go to the High Court, we will be intervening in order to urge the Justices to uphold the decision of the Federal Court.”
The Federal Court decision on Daniels v. Canada released in April this year upheld key aspects of the rulings of lower courts that asserted that Métis are the responsibility of the federal government and should be defined as “Indians” under the Canadian Constitution and therefore should receive similar rights and benefits.
President Lipinski stated: “The message from lower courts was clear: the federal government cannot continue its complete exclusion of Métis from specific and comprehensive claims processes that are open to the two other constitutionally recognized Aboriginal peoples. The jurisdictional football the Métis are subjected to with respect to their rights, claims and needs must end.”
“It is unfortunate,” President Lipinski added, “that the Federal Government chose to appeal the case to the Supreme Court rather than enter into negotiations with Métis governments. Now that the case is going to appeal, however, the MNO will intervene to ensure that the voice of Métis in Ontario is heard.”