Specific Claims Resolution Act (S.C. 2003, c. 23)
Assented to 2003-11-07
Marginal note:Group insurance and benefit programs
12. (1) The Centre may establish benefit programs, including group insurance programs, for its employees, may set any terms and conditions in respect of those programs, including those relating to contributions, premiums, expenditures to be made from those contributions and premiums, benefits and the management, control and audit of the programs, may make contributions and pay premiums in respect of those programs and may enter into contracts for those purposes.
Marginal note:Financial Administration Act does not apply
(2) The Financial Administration Act does not apply to any contributions made or premiums paid by the Centre or the members of any program established under subsection (1) in respect of the program or any benefits received by those members.
Marginal note:Mobility to departments
13. (1) For the purpose of deployments or appointments made, or closed competitions held, under the Public Service Employment Act, employees of the Centre shall be treated as if they were employees within the meaning of the Public Service Employment Act and had the rights of recourse provided by that Act.
Marginal note:When deployments made subject to terms
(2) The Public Service Commission may, in consultation with the Treasury Board and the Centre, set terms and conditions for the deployment of Centre employees to departments and agencies under the Public Service Employment Act if, in its opinion, the principles governing the Centre’s staffing program are incompatible with those governing staffing under that Act.
Marginal note:Mobility to the Centre
(3) When the Centre considers employees within the meaning of the Public Service Employment Act for employment within the Centre, it shall treat them as if they were employees of the Centre.
Marginal note:Public Service Commission reviews
14. The Public Service Commission may periodically review the compatibility of the principles governing the Centre’s staffing program with those governing staffing under the Public Service Employment Act and, in that case, shall report its findings to the Centre.
Marginal note:Political partisanship
15. Sections 32 to 34 of the Public Service Employment Act apply to the Chief Executive Officer, commissioners, adjudicators and employees of the Centre as if the Chief Executive Officer, commissioners and adjudicators were deputy heads, and the employees were employees, as defined in subsection 2(1) of that Act.
16. The offices of the Centre shall be in the National Capital Region as described in the schedule to the National Capital Act.
17. The accounts and financial transactions of the Centre shall be audited annually by the Auditor General of Canada, and a report of the audit shall be made to the Centre and to the Minister.
Marginal note:Annual report
18. (1) The Centre shall submit a report on the work of the Centre in a fiscal year to the Minister within six months after the end of that fiscal year, including the financial statements of the Centre and the report on them of the Auditor General of Canada.
Marginal note:Tabling of report
(2) The Minister shall cause a copy of the report to be laid before each House of Parliament on any of the first 30 days on which that House is sitting after the report is submitted to the Minister.
Marginal note:Available to first nations and the public
(3) The Centre shall make the report available for public scrutiny at its offices and shall provide a copy of the report to a first nation on request.
Marginal note:Quarterly report
19. Every three months, on the dates that the Minister specifies, the Centre shall report to the Minister
(a) the total amount of compensation payable in respect of specific claims resolved other than by a decision of the Tribunal during that quarter; and
(b) the total amount of compensation payable in respect of specific claims resolved by a decision of the Tribunal during that quarter.
Composition and Role
20. (1) The Commission Division of the Centre consists of a Chief Commissioner, a Vice-Chief Commissioner and up to five other commissioners to be appointed by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Minister.
Marginal note:Modification of number of commissioners
(2) The Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Minister, at any time increase or reduce the number of commissioners.
Marginal note:Full-time and part-time
(3) The Chief Commissioner and Vice-Chief Commissioner shall be appointed as full-time commissioners, and other commissioners may be appointed as full-time or part-time commissioners.
Marginal note:Term and tenure
(4) The Chief Commissioner and the Vice-Chief Commissioner shall hold office during good behaviour for a term of not more than five years and may be removed for cause by the Governor in Council.
Marginal note:Term and tenure
(5) The other commissioners shall hold office during good behaviour for a term of not more than three years and may be removed for cause by the Governor in Council.
(6) A commissioner is eligible for re-appointment on the expiration of any term of office in the same or another capacity.
Marginal note:Full-time commissioners
21. (1) Full-time commissioners shall devote the whole of their time to the performance of the duties of their office and shall be paid the remuneration that is fixed by the Governor in Council. They are entitled to be paid reasonable travel and living expenses incurred by them in the course of carrying out their duties under this Act while absent from their ordinary place of work, but the payment may not exceed the maximum limits for those expenses authorized by the Treasury Board for employees of the Government of Canada.
Marginal note:Part-time commissioners
(2) Part-time commissioners shall be paid the remuneration that is fixed by the Governor in Council. They are entitled to be paid reasonable travel and living expenses incurred by them in the course of carrying out their duties under this Act while absent from their ordinary place of residence, but the payment may not exceed the maximum limits for those expenses authorized by the Treasury Board for employees of the Government of Canada.
Marginal note:Conflicting responsibilities and activities prohibited
(3) Commissioners shall not accept or hold any office or employment or carry on any activity inconsistent with their duties and functions as commissioner.
(4) Commissioners are deemed to be employed in the public service of Canada for the purposes of the Government Employees Compensation Act and any regulations made under section 9 of the Aeronautics Act.
Marginal note:Chief Commissioner
22. (1) The Chief Commissioner is responsible for the management of the business and affairs of the Commission.
Marginal note:Absence or incapacity
(2) In the event of the absence or incapacity of the Chief Commissioner, or if the office of Chief Commissioner is vacant, the Vice-Chief Commissioner has the powers and duties of the Chief Commissioner.
Functions, Powers and Duties
23. The Commission is responsible for
(a) administering funding for the research, preparation and conduct by first nations of specific claims;
(b) assisting the parties in the effective use of appropriate dispute resolution processes at any time to facilitate the resolution of specific claims under this Act; and
(c) referring to the Tribunal issues of validity or compensation.
Marginal note:Powers and duties
24. The Commission, in carrying out its functions, may
(a) make rules of procedure for specific claims under this Act, except with respect to proceedings before the Tribunal;
(b) establish, in accordance with any appropriation or allotment of funds to the Centre for these purposes, criteria for the provision of funding to first nations for research, preparation and conduct of specific claims, and allocate the funds in accordance with those criteria;
(c) arrange for any research, or expert or technical studies, agreed to by the parties;
(d) assist the parties to resolve any interlocutory issues; and
(e) foster, at all times, the effective use of appropriate dispute resolution processes — including facilitated negotiation, mediation, non-binding arbitration and, with the consent of the parties, binding arbitration — for the resolution of specific claims.
Marginal note:Participation in funding administration
25. No person who participates or has participated in the administration of funding for the research, preparation or conduct of a specific claim may, in respect of the claim, attend a preparatory meeting under section 28 or participate in any capacity in a dispute resolution process.
Process Relating to Specific Claims
Filing of Claims
Marginal note:Admissible claims
26. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), a first nation may file with the Commission a claim based on any of the following grounds, for compensation for its losses arising from those grounds:
(a) breach of — or failure to fulfil — a legal obligation of the Crown, including a fiduciary obligation,
(i) that relates to the provision of lands or other assets and that arises from an agreement between the first nation and the Crown or from a treaty,
(ii) under any legislation — pertaining to Indians or lands reserved for the Indians — of Canada or of a colony of Great Britain of which at least some portion now forms part of Canada, or
(iii) that arises out of the Crown’s administration of reserve lands, Indian moneys or other assets of the claimant;
(b) an illegal lease or disposition by the Crown of reserve lands;
(c) failure to provide compensation for reserve lands taken or damaged by the Crown or any of its agencies under legal authority; or
(d) fraud by employees or agents of the Crown in connection with the acquisition, leasing or disposition of reserve lands.
(2) A first nation may not file a claim that
(a) is based on events that occurred within the 15 years immediately preceding the filing of the claim;
(b) is based on a land claims agreement entered into after December 31, 1973, or any related agreement or Act of Parliament;
(c) is based on an Act of Parliament or agreement that is mentioned in the schedule, or an Act of Parliament or agreement for the implementation of such an Act or agreement;
(d) concerns the delivery or funding of programs or services related to policing, regulatory enforcement, corrections, education, health, child protection or social assistance, or of any similar public programs or services;
(e) is based on any agreement between the first nation and the Crown that provides for another mechanism for the resolution of disputes arising from the agreement; or
(f) is based on, or alleges, aboriginal rights or title.
Marginal note:When other proceedings
(3) A first nation may not file a claim if
(a) there are proceedings before a court or tribunal other than the Tribunal that relate to the same assets and could result in a decision irreconcilable with that of the claim, or that are based on the same or substantially the same facts;
(b) the first nation and the Crown are parties to those proceedings; and
(c) the proceedings have not been adjourned.
Extended meaning of “Crown” — obligations
(4) In the application of paragraph (1)(a) in respect of any legal obligation that was to be performed in an area within Canada’s present boundaries before that area became part of Canada, a reference to the Crown includes the Sovereign of Great Britain to the extent that the legal obligation or any liability relating to its breach or non-fulfilment became — or would, apart from any rule or doctrine that had the effect of limiting claims or prescribing rights against the Crown because of passage of time or delay, have become — the responsibility of the Crown in right of Canada.
Extended meaning of “Crown” — illegal lease or disposition
(5) In the application of paragraph (1)(b) in respect of an illegal lease or disposition of reserve land located in an area within Canada’s present boundaries before that area became part of Canada, a reference to the Crown includes the Sovereign of Great Britain to the extent that liability for the illegal lease or disposition became — or would, apart from any rule or doctrine that had the effect of limiting claims or prescribing rights against the Crown because of passage of time or delay, have become — the responsibility of the Crown in right of Canada.
Extended meaning of “Crown” — other
(6) In the application of paragraphs (1)(c) and (d) in respect of reserve lands located in an area within Canada’s present boundaries, a reference to the Crown includes the Sovereign of Great Britain for the period before that area became part of Canada.
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