The federal government announced Wednesday it will appeal a landmark court decision that would almost double the population of “Indians” in Canada as defined under the Constitution Act that would have serious implications for taxpayers.
In January, Judge Michael Phelan of the Federal Court ruled 200,000 Metis and 400,000 non-status Indians fell under federal jurisdiction and helped to carve out Ottawa’s responsibilities after a lengthy legal battle which ensued over more than a decade.
In his decision, Phelan cited the decision would allow for a greater level of “respect and reconciliation” by removing “constitutional uncertainty surrounding these groups.”
But in a statement issued Wednesday, Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan indicated the feds will appeal the Federal Court decision in Daniels v. Canada because it raises “complex legal issues.”
Duncan noted that it would be “prudent for Canadian to obtain a decision from a higher court” to address the nuances.