NTI seeks early judgment on land claim lawsuit allegation
Federal government continues to “deprive Inuit of the full benefit of promises made to us under the NLCA:” NTI
The Nunavut Court of Justice heard legal arguments Feb. 13 and Feb. 14 in the Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. lawsuit against the federal government, when NTI lawyers sought a partial summary ruling on an allegation that the federal government failed to create a general monitoring plan for the environment, as required by Article 12 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement.
That’s one of a long list of allegations contained in a $1 billion lawsuit that NTI filed in December of 2006 claiming the federal government is failing to properly implement the NLCA.
A summary judgment on the monitoring plan issue would resolve the allegation without a full-blown trial.
In a Feb. 15 news release, NTI President Cathy Towtongie said the federal government did not begin to implement its monitoring plan until 2008, two years after NTI filed its lawsuit.
Funding for it was then not made available until 2010, she said.
“By opposing the summary judgment motion, the Government of Canada is again trying to delay Inuit from obtaining fast resolution of implementation disputes with the Crown,” Towntongie said in the release. “In the run-up to our lawsuit, the Government of Canada rejected numerous NTI offers of arbitration.
“Fulfilling contractual obligations is what we expect of ordinary citizens and organizations in Canada… and yet (the federal government) continues to act below that standard and deprive Inuit of the full benefit of promises made to us under the NLCA.”
Article 12.7.6 of the NLCA explains the requirement for general monitoring “to collect and analyse information on the long term state and health of the ecosystem and socio-economic environment in the Nunavut Settlement Area. Government, in co-operation with the Nunavut Planning Commission, shall be responsible for developing a general monitoring plan and for directing and coordinating general monitoring and data collection.”
The Nunavut Court of Justice is expected to release its decision in the near future.