LIBERALS BLOCK COMPENSATION FOR BC FIRST NATION

OTTAWA – The Liberal government has halted the awarding of $13.8 million to the Huu-ay-aht First Nation on Vancouver Island over the federal government’s mismanagement of logging contracts, and has ordered a judicial review of the case.

"The Liberals promised to end the constant appeals of First Nation court rulings that we saw under Stephen Harper," said NDP MP Gord Johns (Courtenay-Alberni) who represents the area. "The decision to block this compensation is a clear betrayal of the reconciliation that was promised."

Since 2005, the Huu-ay-aht First Nation has sought damages for the government decision to award logging contracts on their land between 1948 and 1969 without fair compensation for the First Nation. In 2014, the Specific Claims Tribunal found the federal government had committed multiple breaches of its fiduciary duty.

"I urge the government to respect the Specific Claims Tribunal Act and remember that its decisions are final and conclusive and not subject to appeal," said Romeo Saganash, NDP Critic for Indigenous Affairs, "I would also remind this government that the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples discourages unnecessary appeals and litigation that go against Canadian law and prevent the achievement of justice by Indigenous Peoples."