At DD West LLP we are familiar with the techniques and strategies of opposing litigants. Yet, we could not have predicted that Manitoba would respond by enacting legislation barring and dismissing our clients’ proposed class action, on behalf of off-reserve Indigenous children in care against Manitoba for taking $225M of federal special allowances earmarked for the exclusive benefit of those children.
We were advised by Manitoba – while attending the first case conference on behalf of our clients – that it would take that legislative action. Manitoba made good on that proposal in November of 2020 by passing through the legislature section 231 of The Budget Implementation and Tax Statutes Amendment Act, 2020, SM 2020, c 21 (the “Act”).
Manitoba’s legislative action marked the beginning of our clients’ constitutional challenge. On May 18, 2022, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba declared the Act constitutionally invalid.
The Court accepted our submission that the Act triggered the federal legislative paramountcy doctrine and limited, without justification, a Charter protected freedom of our clients. The reasons for the Court’s decision are reported as Flette et al. v. The Government of Manitoba et al., 2022 MBQB 104.
DD West LLP lawyers Brian J. Meronek, Q.C., William S. Klym, and Jeremy W. McKay were pleased to appear on behalf of the Plaintiff proposed representatives in the constitutional challenge.