Federal Appeal

Aboriginal Peoples

Trial judge did not err in concluding parties bound by global financing agreement

Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs financed all of defined benefit pension plans for employees of Huron-Wendat Nation Council between 1985-2008. Minister capped contributions to defined benefit pension plans as of 2008, and made changes to other retirement savings plans. Council unsuccessfully brought action in damages to recover loss of earnings between 2008-2013. Council appealed. Appeal dismissed. Trial judge did not err in its interpretation of decision of Treasury Board and band employee social benefits policy. Trial judge did not err when it concluded that parties were bound by global financing agreement and that it was not contrary to spirit of Treasury Board decision and policy. No commitment in funding actual cost of defined benefit plan emerged from decision of Treasury Board and policy. Terms used such as “may provide” and “may occur” demonstrated that policy could not be characterized as contract or unilateral contractual commitment.

Conseil de la Nation Huronne-Wendat c. R. (Nov. 13, 2014, F.C.A., M. Nadon J.A., A.F. Scott J.A., and Richard Boivin J.A., File No. A-104-14) Decision at 242 A.C.W.S. (3d) 503 was affirmed.  252 A.C.W.S. (3d) 631.

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