Federal Appeal

Aboriginal Peoples

Nation’s power with respect to election did not originate from federal act or prerogative

Appellant Nation, not-for-profit corporation, held election to elect board of directors, including Grand Chief and Deputy Grand Chief. Individual appellants were elected Grand Chief, Deputy Grand Chief and directors. Respondent was not elected and he applied for judicial review in Federal Court. Appellants brought motion to strike out application on basis that Federal Court did not have jurisdiction. Federal Court judge dismissed motion on ground that Nation, in holding election, acted as federal board, commission or other tribunal and it had jurisdiction to entertain judicial review application. Appellants appealed. Appeal allowed. Federal Court erred in law in articulation and application of test applied to answer jurisdictional issue. Proper questions to be answered were what jurisdiction or power was being exercised and what was source of jurisdiction or power. Nation was conducting election of board of directors. Source of Nation’s power was bylaw of Nation. Nation’s powers in respect of election did not originate from federal Act or prerogative. In conducting election, Nation was not exercising powers conferred by or under Act of Parliament or by or under order made pursuant to Crown prerogative and it was not acting as federal board. Federal Court lacked jurisdiction to conduct application for judicial review. Application for judicial review was dismissed.

Pokue v. Innu Nation (Nov. 21, 2014, F.C.A., Eleanor R. Dawson J.A., Wyman W. Webb J.A., and A.F. Scott J.A., File No. A-202-14) Decision at 239 A.C.W.S. (3d) 272 was reversed.  246 A.C.W.S. (3d) 493.

cover image


Subscribers get early and easy access to Law Times.

Law Times Poll

Lawyers have expressed concerns that of 38 justices of the peace the province appointed this summer, only 12 have law degrees. Do you think this is an issue?