A lawyer says he’s frustrated over the amount of time and money being spent by the federal government litigating Aboriginal law cases.
David McRobert says the whole process is time consuming, expensive and accomplishes very little.
He argues the reason for the long and drawn out process is the government is always in perpetual fear of having to pay out a big financial settlement.
However, McRobert says Ottawa needs to be aware most Aboriginal communities need financial help now and it’s tough to move ahead when they are devoting so much time to these legal cases.
“It’s just so much better on so many fronts when these matters can be settled through an interim agreement or a comprehensive claim,” he says.
McRobert notes the government spent 13 years arguing a court case over the constitutional rights of Métis and non-status Indians which has already cost a lot of money.
He stresses fights like these accomplish very little in the end and funds could be better spent.
A spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs confirmed that last year the department spent $106 million on legal costs alone.