Eric Tucker is hoping various court actions he is undertaking will not only preserve indigenous status cards for more than 10,000 people, but will also put the upcoming Qalipu election on hold.
In late August, the former Meadows resident who currently lives in Ontario filed an application in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador in Corner Brook that requested the court order the federal government to stop revoking status cards from the more than 10,000 people who have been removed from the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band’s founding members list.
That new list came into effect Aug. 31 and replaced the original founding members list that came out in 2011. Everyone on the original list subsequently had their applications for membership reassessed as per the terms of a supplemental agreement reached in 2013 between Qalipu and its predecessor, the Federation of Newfoundland Indians, and the federal government.
Tucker, who said revoking status cards is a violation of these people’s right to their heritage, wants those who had been issued cards to be allowed to continue using them until several outstanding court cases involving the controversial enrolment process have been dealt with by the courts.
Tucker’s own matter was called in court in Corner Brook Wednesday morning. A date to hear the application was set for Feb. 27, but the lawyer representing both Qalipu and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians had concerns that issues arising from the application may come up in court before that date in the new year.
As Stephen May pointed out, Tucker recently filed two more proceedings with the Supreme Court. Those include an application for an injunction to prohibit Qalipu from conducting its upcoming band election.
Tucker has also filed an application requesting $640 million in damages be paid out to the 10,000 or so affected by the loss of their status cards.
The election date is Oct. 23 and Tucker’s application for the injunction is scheduled to be called in court Oct. 17.
May drew the court’s attention to the fact Tucker’s injunction application references the application to have status cards reinstated and the February date could be affected if the injunction is granted.
Justice Brian Furey blocked off the Feb. 27 date, so it would still be available, and said the parties involved would have a better idea of the status of these matters at the Oct. 17 court date.
Tucker was an unsuccessful candidate for the chief position in the inaugural Qalipu election in 2012. He is not a candidate in the upcoming election.