Nunavut Inuit org to defend judgment Sept. 24
Ottawa has appealed $14.8 judgment awarded to Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. in 2012
The federal government will appear in court Sept. 24 in Iqaluit to appeal a $14.8-million award that Justice Earl Johnson of the Nunavut Court of Justice gave Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. in 2012.
Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. said, in a Sept. 20 news release, that it’s now ready to “defend” Johnson’s summary judgment award.
In the 2012 judgment, Johnson said that Canada had failed to implement a general monitoring plan for Article 12 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement.
The general monitoring plan is intended to collect data related to the health of the “ecosystemic and socio-economic environment in the Nunavut Settlement Area,” Article 12.7.6 of the land claim agreement states.
This requirement was supposed to be carried out by government in co-operation with the Nunavut Planning Commission.
And Johnson said in his judgment that the federal government did not make adequate funding available for a general monitoring plan until April of 2010.
Because of this, the Nunavut General Monitoring Plan was not up and running until July of 2010.
“I am satisfied that Canada’s failure to implement an important article of the land claims over 15 years undermined the confidence of aboriginal people and in the Inuit in particular, in the important public value behind Canadian land claims agreements,” Johnson said in his June 2012 judgment.
One month later, NTI received notice of the appeal — about which NTI president Cathy Towtongie said she was “disappointed.”
“Instead of wasting money and time in appealing these decisions, let them do their part in implementing their agreement,” Towtongie told Nunatsiaq News last year.
The federal government said that the Nunavut court erred in finding it responsible for development and implementation of the Nunavut General Monitoring Plan.
But NTI says that’s not the case, and that NTI’s lawyers demonstrated that the federal government has not implemented the plan.
Johnson’s judgment involved only one part of the $1-billion lawsuit against Ottawa that NTI filed in December 2006.
Other allegations in the the lawsuit, including allegations that the federal government failed to properly implement provisions on Inuit employment (Article 23) and government contracting (Article 24) are still waiting to be tried in court
Those matters are “expected to go to trial in 2015,” NTI said.