Release No. 1
The Negotiating Team, authorized by Chief and Council, will be releasing a series of communiqués over the coming months in an effort to keep you updated and informed about our ongoing litigation settlement negotiations and compensation for breach of fiduciary duty by Canada.
The responsibility of communications is important and we are currently developing a more formal communication process. In doing so, we recognize that communications need to be timely and that we will assure that there are effective channels available to accommodate feedback.
This is the first of such communications to address a number of questions that have been raised to date, as follows:
Where Can We Look to Learn More About the History of Our Claims and Litigation Being Negotiated?
Our website describes the issues that generated our claims for resolution with Canada. The outline captures the history from 1760 through to the beginning of this year. The information can be found through this link.
Do These Negotiations Affect Mi’gmaq Rights in Gespe’gewa’gi?
This settlement negotiation involves five parcels of land in and around Listuguj. Any agreement involving these lands will in no way deal with wider Mi’gmaq Aboriginal Rights and Title and Treaty rights in Gespe’gewa’gi. These wider Mi’gmaq rights are protected under section 35 of the Constitution and are being pursued through the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi.
What Can We Expect From This Claim?
The settlement will provide a monetary amount as compensation for the current value of the undeveloped land and the loss of use of the land from the dates of the breaches to the date of the settlement – with the oldest breach going back about 220 years. For the Busteed lands that the federal government purchased and will add to reserve, we will still get compensation for the loss of use over time, but not for the present land value.
Who is Representing Listuguj in Our Efforts?
Our negotiating team is made up of Chief Allison Metallic, Chief Negotiator Troy Jerome, Councilor Patty Martin, Jeff Basque, Robert Smith,ca and legal counsel Franklin Gertler, and supported throughout by Sherri Morrison and Fred Vicaire.
This process requires input and support from various special experts. The LMG has now completed its initial and extensive due diligence procedure. Much has already been done but will continue throughout the negotiation process. The LMG has engaged the services of the following professional service firms to support our efforts:
Franklin Gertler of Franklin Gertler & Associates
David Babineau and Clifford Lawrence of De Stecher Appraisals Ltd.
Research, Valuation and Advisory:
Daniel Doucet of Atlus Group
Professor Carl Beal of First Nation University of Canada
Financial, Investment and Communication Advisors:
Jack Jamieson and Ismo Heikkila of T.E. Wealth
There are no arrangements with these advisors to have an ongoing role after the community decision on the proposed agreement.
What is the Process for Accepting Any Proposed Settlement?
Any settlement with Canada must be submitted and approved by the voters of Listuguj.
The community membership, through a series of information and consultation meetings, will determine the question to be answered in the Ratification Vote. Further details on the meeting dates will be communicated to the voters in future releases and notices.
What are the Plans for the Settlement Proceeds?
The decisions as to the use, disbursement, and investment of the settlement funds have not been made.
Our professional advisors will participate at the Community meetings to help inform our voters as to the various options and opportunities available to the community.
In addition, the potential for a “per capita” distribution (for each individual including setting aside monies until minors reach the age of majority) will be a topic to be covered during the community meetings.
How Much Has Been Spent on the Negotiation Process Including Past Salaries and Legal Costs?
As presented in the Band’s Financial Statement, the amount spent to March 31, 2012 on the negotiation process is $815,426. (Legal, and reports for land appraisals, economic loss of use, historical values, and other professionals, and related costs)
Only the actual out of pocket costs incurred by LMG up until the date of the Settlement would be deducted from the Settlement proceeds. No one is on a contingency arrangement; meaning no one would receive a percentage of the final Settlement amount. Normal billing rates are applied for our experts.
Are We Looking at a Settlement Within the Year?
The negotiating team is in continual discussions with Canada and expects to receive a counter offer shortly. Confidentiality is necessary throughout any negotiation process. We will ensure all citizens are informed once an acceptable offer is put forth and we are able to release more details.
We will ensure that as information becomes available for release it will be distributed in a timely manner. Our goal is to ensure this process allows for community input and discussion.
Simultaneously, the LMG by engaging its member’s participation, will develop a Comprehensive Community Plan (CCP).
Please continue to submit your feedback using;
LMG Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/LisMigGov),
By direct contact with Committee members