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25 October 2015

(Onion Lake Cree Nation, Treaty 6 Territory). Okimaw Wallace Fox and the Onion Lake Council
were very pleased to receive the federal court decision granting a stay against the Minister of Indian
Affairs legal action in regards to C27 (First Nations Financial Transparency Act) that intended to force
the First Nation to post its Consolidated Audit on the World Wide Web. This decision of the Judge was
based on the hearing held, August 19-20, 2015, where Onion Lake made an application to have the
Ministers action stayed so as not to prejudice Onion Lakes own litigation in Federal court in the near
Our Nation does not believe that the legislation is valid it violates our Peoples right of privacy and
interferes with our rights as we stated in our action filed in November 2014, said Okimaw Fox who
further stated, The Ministers decision to go to court bringing his own action against Onion Lake and
four other First Nations in December 2014 to force the disclosure was an attempt to prejudice the Onion
Lake action.
The Federal Court granted the stay citing at paragraph 30 of the decision, the Attorney General does not
hold a monopoly over the public interest solely on the strength of the enforcement of legislative
compliance. The Judge cited a Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision writing, where the public
interest includes both the concerns of society generally and the particular interests of identifiable
While Onion Lake did not get an order for the release of our halted non-essential dollars and the
Ministerial Loan Guarantee (MLG) needed for building safe and affordable social housing comparable to
standards of other Canadians, we are encouraged by the Judges decision in paragraph 40, stated
Okimaw Fox. Paragraph 40 of the decision reads:
The Crowns failure to consult before withholding further funding from the Respondents is
therefore, likely to be considered in the face of the evidence showing non-compliance injury to
the band members going forward.
In light of the Courts decision to stay the Ministers application and the Ministers action to unilaterally
withhold non-essential monies from a Contribution Agreement that has been in place since 2011, Onion
Lake is calling on the government of Canada in a show of good faith to release the non-essential monies
and the MLG as soon as possible. Otherwise, Justice Barnes left the door open to seek relief as Onion
Lake goes forward with the court challenge to C27.
Media Contact: Janice Makokis
C: (780) 915-0310
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