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November 20, 2008
Media Release: Short-term Costs for Long-term Finality
WINNIPEG, MB – First Nation communities need a new expedited approach to resolving specific land claims dispute that is more ambitious than the Conservative government’s new specific claims tribunal legislation, according to a new background paper from the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.
In his paper, Settling Old Debts: A Plan for Expediting Canada’s Land Claims Process, Frontier Centre policy analyst Joseph Quesnel argues that despite the welcome presence of a new independent tribunal to handle specific claims, Canada should establish a “sunset clause” that ensures the number of claims are finally filed in totality, and then dealt with within a reasonable amount of time. This would be in the interests of both First Nations and taxpayers, argues Quesnel.
“To be just to First Nations, it would make sense to provide a generous, but firm, filing deadline,” says Quesnel.
The paper argues that the federal government should view claims as a top priority, not only because they are outstanding moral and legal obligations to First Nations, but they also represent significant liabilities that do not allow Aboriginal communities to focus on other central issues, such as economic development and socio-economic improvement, as well as eventual self-government.
To download a copy of the report, click here.
The Frontier Centre for Public Policy
is an independent public policy think tank whose mission is "to broaden the debate on our future through public policy research and education and to explore positive changes within our public institutions that support economic growth and opportunity."