Bill C-25 reflects information already provided to Qalipu applicants: Sheppard

Diane
Diane Crocker
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Brendan Sheppard, chief of the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation Band is seen in this file photo from January 2013.

Qalipu Chief Brendan Sheppard said Friday that Bill C- 25 really doesn’t mean anything more than what people have already been made aware of.

Bill C-25, the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Act, was introduced in the House of Commons last week and the Conservatives tabled a motion of closure on it Thursday.

The proposed legislation reflects the original intention of the parties with respect to the creation of a Founding Members list for the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band. It also supports the implementation of the 2013 Supplemental Agreement, which was meant to clarify how to apply certain clauses of the original agreement reached in 2008.

“The legislation itself, obviously just goes hand and hand with the information that was provided in a press release to all applicants that a complete review of all applications would be taking place and the possibility that some people who already have received their status could very well have their status taken back, their status cards revoked.”

With that having been said, Sheppard said “government has to follow through with legislation to actually be able to do that.”

Meanwhile, Liberal MP Gerry Byrne, Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte, has expressed concern over two clauses contained in the bill — Clause 3, which gives the federal government permission to amend the original agreement and Clause 4, which states that the federal government cannot be held liable by people who are not included in the formation of the band.

Sheppard said Byrne has stated that the bill is the federal government’s way of protecting itself against litigation.

But he said that is false.

“People have the right to take legal action and of course this is happening as we know.”

He said the Mi’kmaq First Nation Assembly of Newfoundland and Labrador is setting up that now and advertising for people to provide them with funds so they can launch a class-action suit against the government.

Sheppard also takes exception to Byrne’s statements that there have been changes to the agreement on the band’s formation and that the only criteria applicants had to originally meet was to prove aboriginal ancestry.

Sheppard said Section 4, 1, d found on Page 14 of the agreement states criteria for acceptance — self identification, ancestral connection in the historic communities and community acceptance.

He said those criteria are based on and nothing different from what has already been set by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Powley case on Metis rights.

“This is in the agreement and it was in our agreement. There is no change to that and that’s what the (enrolment) committee is basically living up to.”

Organizations: House of Commons, Conservatives, First Nation Assembly of Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court of Canada

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Recent comments

  • Chad
    March 31, 2014 - 14:14

    I can't understand why any First nation band would want to deny individuals of their heritage when these First nations have always been pushed aside. We all know there are strength in numbers, Chief Sheppard is not fighting for his people, more people equal less control, and more people when voting takes place. He's running scared

  • Chad
    March 31, 2014 - 14:12

    I can't understand why any First nation band would not want deny individuals of their heritage when these First nations have always been pushed aside. We all know there are strength in numbers, Chief Sheppard is not fighting for his people, more people equal less control and more people when voting takes place.

  • Robert
    March 24, 2014 - 11:24

    NOTHING BUT A COMPLETE LIE FROM INCEPTION...TO DECEPTION! SHEPPARD ALONG WITH THE FEDS HAVE CONTINUED TO LIE TO THE NATIVE PEOPLE. LASTLY, WITH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL AGREEMENT THEY SAW ANOTHER CHANCE AT YET ANOTHER MONEY GRAB. ACHIEVED BY DEMANDING AFFIDAVITS ETC., AND ADDING TO LOST REVENUES FOR CANADA POST...JUST DO THE MATH! I FIND IT DISGUSTING THAT SHEPPARD HAS THE FACE TO STILL GO TO MEDIA WITH HIS LIES! TIME FOR CHANGE!

  • Joe
    March 10, 2014 - 02:32

    How can the government change the agreement and later introduce legislation to allow them to change that agreement in the first place. Backwards as far as I am concerned.

  • Keith
    March 09, 2014 - 10:04

    this bill is at the first reading stage and is not yet law. In the event that the bill is passed, we want to assure you that this will not affect our judicial review applications nor will it prevent us from bringing judicial review applications in the future when individuals are rejected from the Band. This is because a judicial review application asks the court to decide whether the decision to reject an applicant was reasonable. Our judicial review applications do not seek damages or compensation from the Crown and accordingly, they are not affected by this bill. Bill C-25, if it is passed, will affect our ability to bring a lawsuit against the federal government, the Band and/or Band Council for damages for removing names from the band list or failing to include certain individuals on the Band list. If Bill C-25 is passed, we may want to bring a legal action to challenge the bill. In the meantime, we would ask that you get involved, voice your concerns over this bill and write to your members of parliament.

  • Geraldine
    March 09, 2014 - 01:10

    I do not think that any government official has the right to change any agreement in a signed treaty with any First Nation's Band. maybe we should have sent a blood sample. there is no denying that result. if they change this one...they will change others, don't you think?

    • Moosedog
      April 04, 2014 - 17:30

      My family has given blood; but in today's Canada DNA seem to be irrelevant in determining a persons race. It also appears that I could only be recognized as an aboriginal if I had remained in an impoverished community three decades ago instead of leaving for a location where I could raise my family above the poverty line. Sorry Mr. Sheppard for not helping you through those 20 years of fighting for recognition; but that's no reason to be bitter! True strenght is in numbers; so you don't have to try and keep the rest of us out. After all; we are all family! Your performance over the last couple of years will surely get you a position with the federal government once the band kick you out. Then you can move to Ottawa and have your card revoked!

  • Paul
    March 07, 2014 - 15:31

    Am I missing something here? Gerry Burns states that the Federal Government has completed and proposed legislation to dismiss liabilities in any court case against band and aboriginal affairs. The Chief states that this is not the case and members can still seek legal redress. Who is misinformed Gerry Byrne's or Brendan Sheppard? Every article I read indicates a legal challenge would be blocked with legislation. Who is playing games?

    • Tony
      March 08, 2014 - 10:37

      Paul, Sheppard played games from day one and passed out lies and wrong information to applicants from day one. Who do you think is playing games now?