11.01.2019 09:20 PM

Good on Paul Martin

He’s right.

9 Comments

  1. Peter says:

    I have to disagree. There are several reasons why the government might appeal the order that don’t imply it is opposed to compensation, starting with whether a human rights tribunal has the jurisdiction to make such a sweeping, collective order. The tribunal members aren’t even judges. If Martin is right, the government should never have even defended the case in the first place and should have just started writing cheques after the complaint was filed.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      Peter,

      As lawyers, it’s not a big step to rely on the government’s own legal pleadings:

      [Payment] “can be made in appropriate circumstances” but this case isn’t among them. “Awarding compensation to individuals in this claim, however, was inconsistent with the nature of the complaint,” the documents say. The government said the compensation could cost $5-billion to $7.9-billion.

      Translation: the government is provisionally open to the idea of compensation but is absolutely opposed to paying compensation to these plaintiffs — not just on narrow technical grounds but also because it would, in THEIR view break the compensation bank, by paying out too much $.

      Where is the government’s in the alternative argumentation to get compensation to these plaintiffs by way of another payment mechanism?

      This is just another hypocritical strategy like in the Shannon allegedly contaminated water case, initiated by the Harper government and enthusiastically supported by Trudeau’s government. In short, in both cases, they don’t want to pay, period and will use every trick in the book as a legal argument not to pay.

      • Peter says:

        Ronald, are you trying to say the Trudeau government’s actions on aboriginal matters are hypocritical? That the rhetoric doesn’t match the reality? I’m shocked, truly shocked.

        • Ronald O'Dowd says:

          Peter,

          Yes, but what you missed is that the Trudeau legal apparatus is much more like Harper’s than most people realized.

  2. Dropping that appeal is one of two things the NDP called on the government to do. https://www.thestar.com/amp/politics/federal/2019/10/30/ndp-leader-jagmeet-singh-hasnt-spoken-with-justin-trudeau-since-the-election.html

    The other is start working on Pharmacare.

  3. Phil says:

    I totally agree with the compensation for persons wronged by government, I just don’t have the knowledge to rule on this case.
    Could it be that the former finance minister turned Prime Minister could find the answers to his bewilderment in his former portfolio?
    Hard to imagine Turdo understanding affordability but could someone in this hapless band actually see the cost of such as a wide sweeping ruling as hard to finance? I mean with that money on the line how does one pay for camping weekends for children?
    Oh what I am thinking, western oil barons can pay for it. They have a lot to pay for what’s a little more?

  4. Walter says:

    For the next 50 to 100 years there will be various tribunals, commissions, etc. that will all find that the federal government owes money or land to the Indians.
    Do we really think the government should agree to each and every one of these.
    The governments made their best efforts at the time, and it is quite likely that their intervention has made many aboriginal lives better. I don’t want a government that think Canadians are bad, or genocidal, I want a government that understands that tough decisions were made in the past that may look wrong now, but at the time were reasonable and likely produced a better result than available alternatives.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      Walter,

      How can you assert with any credible confidence that the governments made their “best efforts” at the time? There is no body of evidence that supports that.

      As Dion wisely said, government is all about priorities — are we going to be idiots like Trump and blow the budget on CF-35s or is the priority on people? Buying F-35s would be nothing short of a defence obscenity. Why waste money on platinum-plated fighters when the defence of North America has absolutely zip to do with fighter or bomber attacks. People, homeless, sick, or otherwise should always be the main budget priority. Nothing else.

      • Fred from BC says:

        “How can you assert with any credible confidence that the governments made their “best efforts” at the time?”

        My best guess at Walter’s meaning (and I have no way of knowing for sure) would be that they made their best efforts on behalf of *all* Canadians, not just the natives. I base this on his last line:

        “I want a government that understands that tough decisions were made in the past that may look wrong now, but at the time were reasonable and likely produced a better result than available alternatives.”

        Seems sensible to me. As you already know, I have no time (and even less respect) for those who would rewrite history to make it seem less offensive. It ‘is what it is’…learn from it, and move on…

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