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ADMINISTRATIVE LAW | SPPA / Fairness (Administrative)

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Civil and Administrative
Litigation Opinions
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Indigenous - Tobacco

. Adams v. Aamwjiwnaang First Nation

In Adams v. Aamwjiwnaang First Nation (Div Court, 2022) the Divisional Court held that making tobacco allotment decisions regarding an individual Indian band member attracts only minimal procedural fairness:
[64] In Parker v. Okanagan Indian Band Council, 2010 FC 1218, 379 F.T.R. 26 (Eng.), the Federal Court held that in making allotment decisions that impact a band member’s legal rights and interests, only a limited degree of procedural fairness is required. The Federal Court reasoned that allotment decisions are policy decisions and, further, that the Indian Act does not prescribe any procedural requirements. In this case, the Regulation itself does not prescribe any specific procedural fairness requirements for the band council’s allocation of tobacco quota.

[65] In making decisions about the allocation of quota, Council must balance the interests of individuals against those of the community. Council enacted the Policy after consultation with its members to assist it in making decisions about the allocation of quota. The Policy also does not prescribe any specific steps or procedural fairness requirements.


[69] Accordingly, we find that although there was some unfairness in the process followed in this case, that unfairness does not undermine the substantive reasonableness of the decision taken or lead us to conclude that the Respondent might have made a different decision if a fair process had been followed. Past annual allocation decisions cannot be undone in a practical sense. No purpose would be served by sending the issues back for decision by Council now, in all these circumstances: Mobil Oil Canada Ltd. v. Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board, 1994 CanLII 114 (SCC), [1994] 1 S.C.R., 202, at 228-29.


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Last modified: 11-12-22
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