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Division of Powers – Provincial jurisdiction – Aboriginals and reserves – Property and civil rights – The Lawyer’s Daily

May 24, 2019

Appeal by three former members of the Gift Lake Metis Settlement from a decision that found impugned provisions of the Metis Settlements Act were not unconstitutional. The appellants voluntarily registered as Indians under the Indian Act to access health benefits not provided to Metis settlement members. Their memberships in the Metis Settlement were automatically terminated by the provisions in question. The termination of the appellants’ membership in the Metis Settlement prevented them from holding Metis title to their lands and from passing their Metis title to family. The chambers judge found the impugned provisions were in pith and substance legislation in relation to property and civil rights within the jurisdiction of the province under s. 92(13) of the Constitution Act, 1867. She further found the doctrine of interjurisdictional immunity did not apply.

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