Jans Bay and Cole Bay Press On With Lawsuit

Monday, April 25, 2005 at 15:31



A recently-announced funding package for Metis communities on the West Side isn’t stopping a couple of them from proceeding with legal action against the government.


The residents of Cole Bay and Jans Bay are in line for a portion of a multi-million dollar package that Ottawa and the province are providing to communities affected by the creation of the Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range.


Several elders from the communities were displaced from that area in the 1950s when the weapons range came into existence.


Both levels of government have made it clear that the money is for economic development purposes, and is not compensation.


Jans Bay mayor Ernest Gardiner says his community and Cole Bay are going ahead with their statement of claim because they feel all their residents deserve some form of individual compensation.


Gardiner won’t say how much the communities are looking for in the lawsuit.


As for the economic development funding, Gardiner is hopeful the money will be split equally between the four communities involved, even though Beauval and Ile-a-la-Crosse have a larger population base than Cole Bay and Jans Bay.


He argues that Beauval and Ile-a-la-Crosse already have a lot of infrastructure and amenities not available to the smaller communities.