The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) will appeal a court decision that supported the Manitoba government cancelling a multi-million-dollar agreement, its president said Wednesday.
David Chartrand said it was a matter of principle to overturn the ruling.
“Indigenous leaders will probably be very surprised to learn that they cannot trust or rely upon agreements that they negotiate with the Crown in Manitoba regarding their Aboriginal rights.”
Chartrand made the comment in a statement Wednesday – one day after Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench dismissed the MMF’s bid to restore the $67.5-million agreement.
“We entered into solemn agreements setting out how Métis people’s constitutional rights would be accommodated in respect of Hydro development in our province,” added Chartrand.
“The Court has now ruled that the provincial government is not bound by the Honour of the Crown in respect of those agreements. That cannot be correct. The conduct of the Pallister Government was profoundly dishonourable.”
Along with the appeal, the MMF filed a statement of claim earlier this month suing the government of Manitoba, Manitoba Hydro, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and other ministers.
Pallister had rescinded the deal approved by the previous NDP government.
“We don’t engage in the purchase of the rights of Métis children yet unborn from Mr. Chartrand,” he said Tuesday.
“We’re not using Manitoba Hydro as an ATM to buy friends and that’s a change from the previous government’s practices.”