Move quickly on treaty ruling, ex-Sudbury judge says – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – February 12, 2019)

Retired Superior Court Justice Stephen O’Neill is pleased a former colleague ruled in favour of the Robinson-Huron Treaty Trust in its fight to have Crown annuities increased for 21 First Nations across much of Northern Ontario.

But he is also hoping the Ontario government does not appeal Justice Patricia Hennessy’s decision, potentially tying the matter up in the courts for years. (The federal government has said it won’t appeal the decision).

“Can we move on from Justice Hennessy’s decision?” asked O’Neill, during a Robinson-Huron Treaty post-decision panel discussion Monday at the University of Sudbury. “Is there enough impetus? Is there enough energy there to work toward solving Steps 2 and 3 through mediation and get a final settlement? This is all about education, the search for justice …

“I say we can no longer accept the maxim in this country. Justice delayed is justice denied. As a former Superior Court justice, no one should submit to needing to wait longer. Too many generations of people have passed to the spirit world.

“We understand Justice Hennessy has made a decision. What right does anybody have to delaying a resolution by another 100 years? … Give the process its rightful time — a year, or two or maybe three — but people (have) waited for far too long.”

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