September 29, 2021
Class Counsel is aware that the Government of Canada, the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (“FNI”) and the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation are in the process of finalizing a new agreement that would allow for the reconsideration of applications for active service members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and former members of these forces who were denied founding membership in the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation.
While we are encouraged by Canada and the FNI’s decision to make adjustments to the unfair restrictions in the Supplemental Agreement for veterans in this initiative, Class Counsel was not consulted with respect to this new agreement nor the finalization of such agreement. To the contrary, Class Counsel is disappointed that, as lawyers representing the class of individuals who had been rejected, our requests to be consulted on any changes to the enrolment process that impacts class members had been ignored by the parties to the agreement.
While we are encouraged by this initiative, we believe it highlights and supports the class action’s position that the changes in the Supplementary Agreement impacting non-residents were fundamentally unfair in application and in purpose. We believe the premise or rationale underlying the veterans’ inclusion in the Band pursuant to the 2008 Agreement and circumvention of the changes in the Supplementary Agreement impacting non-residents of Newfoundland should be applicable to all non-resident applicants.