As the AFN plans their legal options in regard to the appeal, filed in Saskatchewan, between the federal government and the Merchant Law Group, INAC Minister Prentice states in the press release below, "The Government strongly believes that the matter of the verification of the fees payable to the Merchant Law Group need not, nor should not, delay the implementation of the Settlement Agreement."
INAC press release ...
Minister Prentice Provides Update on the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement
OTTAWA (January 31, 2007) - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, and Minister Responsible for Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada, today provided an update on the progress made by Canada's New Government toward a fair and lasting resolution of the legacy of Indian Residential Schools.
"Since taking office, Canada's New Government has taken all the steps necessary to ensure that the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement is approved and implemented as quickly as possible," said Minister Prentice.
The Settlement Agreement requires the approval of the Courts in nine jurisdictions across Canada, and the Government is pleased to confirm that the Settlement Agreement has now been substantially approved by those Courts. "We anticipate that the formal approval of the Settlement Agreement may proceed in the coming weeks, and that we will in turn move further toward implementation of the Agreement with the commencement of the Opt-Out Period in the next few months," said Minister Prentice.
In recognition of the age of many former students, and in recognition of the length of time required for the approval of the Settlement Agreement, the Government launched an Advance Payment Program on May 10, 2006, for elderly former students who were 65 or older when the Settlement Agreement negotiations began on May 30, 2005. "I am proud to report that the Advance Payment Program, which ended on December 31, 2006, has provided $8,000 to each of 9,938 elderly former students who resided at Indian Residential Schools, totalling $79.5 Million," noted Minister Prentice.
Among other things, the Settlement Agreement provides for a Common Experience Payment to all former students who resided at an eligible Indian Residential School. Applications for the Common Experience Payment will be processed in accordance with the Settlement Agreement, and all applications will be verified against the Government's records. In cases where records are unavailable, other means of establishing the residency of a former student at a particular Indian Residential School will be possible.
The Settlement Agreement also provides for the payment of fees to legal counsel who represented former students in the Settlement Agreement negotiation process, and in many cases for some years prior to the beginning of the negotiations, for their work on behalf of former students. The Settlement Agreement sets out a verification process for all legal fees to be verified and approved by the Courts.
"The Government believes that it is important for all elements of the Settlement Agreement, including the payment of fees to legal counsel, to be subject to appropriate verification and approval by the Courts," noted Minister Prentice.
"Given that former students need to prove that they resided at an eligible Indian Residential School to receive a Common Experience Payment, it is only reasonable and appropriate that legal counsel should have their bills verified as well. Further, this is part of the agreement that the Merchant Law Group negotiated," said Minister Prentice.
Accordingly, the Government recently filed an appeal of the decision by the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench, respectfully seeking that the matter of the fees payable to the Merchant Law Group be verified by the Court in accordance with the Settlement Agreement. The Government strongly believes that the matter of the verification of the fees payable to the Merchant Law Group need not, nor should not, delay the implementation of the Settlement Agreement.
For more information, please contact:
Office of the Honourable Jim Prentice
The monetary value of developing some natural resources for short term gain verus maintaining and protecting the environment for the long term benefit of all concerned is presented in the report produced by the Canadian Boreal Initiative. During a CBC radio interview a local Inuit resident explained his position with the simple statement, "Today, I have very little but with healthy environment and all that nature provides for us, I, along with my children and all future generations will be able to survive for thousands of years."
Press release ...
Natural Wealth Of The Mackenzie Region Close To $500 Billion, Says Report
OTTAWA, Jan. 31 - The natural Wealth of the Mackenzie Region is close to $500 billion, according to a report released today by the Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI).
The report, The Real Wealth of the Mackenzie Region, authored by two ecological economists Sara Wilson and Mark Anielski, estimates the ecological goods and services provided by nature in the Mackenzie watershed region to be 10 times the total economic value generated by natural capital extraction industries and other activities within the watershed.
"With this new study we have a stronger basis for demonstrating the value of Boreal conservation in efforts to combat climate change", said Larry Innes, acting Director of the Canadian Boreal Initiative. "Climate change is one of the most pressing global challenges of our time. Maintaining natural cycles and enhancing this huge carbon 'bank account' in the Boreal region should be seen as a part of the solution. The value of the Boreal forest as a sustainable storehouse of carbon shows that Boreal conservation is critical to the fight against global warming."
The study considered 17 ecosystem services, including the value of carbon uptake and storage. The Mackenzie region is part of the Boreal Forest, the world's largest terrestrial storehouse of carbon, making it one of the world's best defenses against global climate change.
"This report is the first watershed-based natural capital review in Canada, if not the world", said Mark Anielski. "Canadians want sustainable development, but we also value clean air, clean water, and the countless other services that nature provides. Our country has been richly endowed, but these ecological services do not count towards our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - the traditional measure of economic progress. We need to start counting the value of our natural capital so we can make informed stewardship decisions that balance broader ecosystem and cultural values with sustainable economic growth."
The values of the Mackenzie watershed for the Boreal forest and other land covers are preliminarily estimated at $448 billion per annum if they were in pristine condition, that is, undamaged by industrial and human disturbance. The estimated GDP of the Mackenzie driven mostly by the extraction of mining, oil, gas, forestry and agricultural sectors watershed was estimated at $41 billion in 2005.
Based in Ottawa, CBI brings together diverse partners to create new solutions for Boreal conservation and acts as a catalyst by supporting a variety of on-the-ground efforts across the Boreal by governments, industry, First Nations, conservation groups, major retailers, financial institutions and others.
The executive summary and full report are available on the CBI website: www.borealcanada.ca
For further information: Christine Choury, Director of Communications, (613) 230-4739, ext 222, Cell: (613) 355-6513; Andrew Dumbrille, Canadian Boreal Initiative, (613) 762-2525
Status: Short-term Service Contract Position
Location: Sioux Lookout, ON
Position: Workshop Facilitator - March 2007
The primary responsibility is to facilitate a three-day training session on the newly developed Healthy Families Healthy Nations Curriculum. The curriculum is based on family violence prevention. Participants will consist of service providers from the remote First Nation communities in Northwestern Ontario. The goal of the training is to teach northern service providers to deliver the Healthy Families Healthy Nations Curriculum in their home communities.
Deadline: Friday February 16, 2007.
Please submit an outline of your experience as a facilitator. Include your fees for service, expectations and details of past accomplishments.
Bids can be sent to:
Equay-wuk (Women's Group)
16 Fourth Avenue North
Sioux Lookout, ON P8T 1C4
Fax: (807) 737-2699
Funding provided by the Government of Ontario. The views expressed herein are those of Equay-wuk (Women's Group) and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Ontario.
A DISTRICT ( F.N. ) Hockey Tournament is scheduled for April 2 - 7th, 2007 at the Sioux Lookout Memorial Arena!
It has three ( 3 ) separate divisions, including
In the mens hockey division is an "elite" division( junior and "AAA" calibre of play ) which has an open ice body checking!
The whole idea for this hockey tournament is attract a family atmosphere, and activities for the whole family ... men can sit in bleachers with their children and watch "MOM" play hockey! She scores!!!
Book a team now...visit our homepage at http://www.districthockey.myknet.org
More rules and regulations will be posted soon.
Thank you, and hope to see you all there!