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Nov 07, 2023
The province is appealing a decision made by the Ontario Court of Appeal in 2021
More than six years since it saw its first day in court, the Robinson-Huron treaty annuities case is being heard at the Supreme Court of Canada on Nov. 7 and 8.
At the centre of this landmark case is a promise that annuities to the Indigenous communities would increase according to the wealth produced by the land.
Despite the billions of dollars of profits generated by the mining, forestry and fishing industries since the signing of the treaty, payments to the Anishnaabe were capped at $4 per person in 1874 and haven’t increased since.
In 2018, Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice ruled that the province had an obligation to increase the annuities.
The province appealed that decision to the Ontario Court of Appeal, which upheld the findings of the lower court in 2021.
The Supreme Court of Canada judges will be asked to examine stage 1 and 2 of the trial, which concerned the interpretation of the augmentation clause and the defences of the Crown, respectively.