Court rules federal government failed to consult aboriginals on land in Winnipeg

The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG - Manitoba First Nations have scored a court victory against the federal government over a potential urban reserve in Winnipeg.

The Federal Court of Canada has halted the government's plan to sell the Kapyong Barracks until it consults with Treaty One communities that have outstanding land entitlement claims.

Justice Roger Hughes ruled Ottawa should first have discussed the fate of the former military land with First Nations communities that want to turn it into an urban reserve.

The land has been empty since 2004 when the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry was moved west to Shilo, Man.

In his written ruling, Hughes says the First Nations — quote — "were simply ignored" for much of the time that followed.

Grand Chief Derek Nepinak (NEE'-peh-nack) of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs says the ruling shows the government must stop taking aboriginal lands unilaterally.