Case commented on: Harry Daniels et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen as represented by The Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development et al, 2013 FC 6, varied 2014 FCA 101; leave granted November 20, 2014 (SCC) (35945)
Yesterday the Supreme Court of Canada (Chief Justice McLachlin and Justices Cromwell and Wagner) agreed to hear Daniels, a case that raises the issue of whether Métis and non-status Indians fall within the scope of federal powers under section 91(24) of the Constitution Act 1867. For an ABlawg comment on the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal decisions, see here.
The panel’s decision reads as follows:
The motion of the intervener Métis National Council for an extension of time to serve and file a response to the application for leave to appeal and for leave to file a response to the application for leave to cross-appeal is granted. The application for leave to appeal is granted with costs in any event of the cause. The application for leave to cross-appeal is granted. A party having intervened in the Federal Court of Appeal and wishing to intervene before this Court shall seek leave to intervene.
Here is a summary of the case from the SCC website:
Constitutional law — Division of powers — Aboriginal law — Métis — Trial court issuing declaration that Métis and non-status Indians are “Indians” pursuant to s. 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867 — Court of appeal varying declaration so as to exclude non-status Indians from scope of declaration — Whether Métis and non-status Indians are “Indians” pursuant to s. 91(24) so that the federal government has jurisdiction to make laws with respect to those peoples — Whether court of appeal erred in varying terms of declaration — Whether court of appeal erred in declining to grant additional declarations sought by applicants — Constitution Act, 1867, s. 91(24)
In 1999, the applicants instituted proceedings in Federal Court in order to resolve a long-standing issue as to which of Canada or the provinces has jurisdiction over the Métis and non-status Indian peoples. Specifically, they sought to obtain a determination that the federal government has constitutional jurisdiction pursuant to s. 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867 over Métis and nonstatus Indians. In Federal Court, they sought the following declarations:
(a) that Métis and non-status Indians are “Indians” within the meaning of the expression “Indians and lands reserved for Indians” in s 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867;
(b) that the Queen (in right of Canada) owes a fiduciary duty to Métis and non-status Indians as Aboriginal people; and
(c) that the Métis and non-status Indian peoples of Canada have the right to be consulted and negotiated with, in good faith, by the federal government on a collective basis through representatives of their choice, respecting all their rights, interests and needs as Aboriginal peoples.
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