Thunder Bay

Supreme Court passes on First Nation lawsuit

The Supreme Court of Canada has decided it will not hear a lawsuit by Pikangikum First Nation against former Indian Affairs Minister Bob Nault, bringing to an end to a legal battle going back a dozen years.

Pikangikum First Nation sued former Liberal MP for withholding funding

The Supreme Court of Canada has decided it will not hear a lawsuit by Pikangikum First Nation against former Indian Affairs Minister Robert Nault, bringing to an end to a legal battle going back a dozen years.

The community had sued the former Liberal MP for Kenora for allegedly abusing his powers as minister and withholding funding.

Nault was Indian Affairs Minister from 1999 to 2003.

The Pikangikum First Nation accused him of "misfeasance" for imposing third-party management on the reserve more than a decade ago.

The band also claimed Nault withheld millions of dollars for infrastructure projects —intended for a hydro line and a new school in Pikangikum — until the community dropped its legal challenge of the federal government's decision to appoint a third-party manager.

The trial judge dismissed the case, noting the third-party manager was brought in by bureaucrats against the then-minister's wishes. An appeals court also sided with Nault. 

As is its usual practice, the Supreme Court did not release reasons for its decisions.

with files from Canadian Press