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Qalipu, Federation of Newfoundland Indians say publication of confidential legal advice could jeopardize objectives

Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation Band
Qalipu First Nation - SaltWire File Photo

The Federation of Newfoundland Indians and the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band are not about to apologize for appealing a recent court decision that did not go in their favour.
The federation is the Qalipu band’s predecessor, but continues to exist as a legal entity as several court cases challenging the legitimacy of the band’s enrolment process unfold.
In a recent decision of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, in the case known as Benoit et al, the court ruled that two documents deemed to contain confidential legal advice to the federation could remain in the public domain because neither the federation nor Qalipu made any substantial effort to retrieve them.
The federation took the stance that since the documents were already being digitally circulated and published on a website, it would have been expensive and futile to attempt to recover them.
The court could not determine who had published the documents online.

RELATED: Supreme Court rules Federation of Newfoundland Indians did little to stop sharing of its sensitive legal documents

In a press release issued Monday, July 8, the federation and Qalipu noted that while several other court decisions having ruled against them, this is the only one they have bothered to appeal.
In the prepared statement, the federation and the band said maintaining solicitor-client privilege is a fundamental right that needs to be preserved and publication of such information is concerning because it could jeopardize the objectives of the organization.
“(Qalipu and the federation) must continue to have full and frank discussions with its legal advisors without fear that the information or advice might somehow become available to persons who might not share our stated goals,” read the press release.

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