Big Changes Coming to Ontario Crown Liability

Indigenous Advocacy | OKT | Rule of Law

The Government of Ontario is proposing to radically change the scope of Crown liability in the Province. This change may have a serious impact on the ability of First Nations and First Nation organizations to hold Ontario liable for past wrongs.

The proposed Crown Liability and Proceedings Act proposes to do the following, among other things:

  • Extinguish any cause of action for any acts of a legislative nature;
  • Extinguish any cause of action for decisions of a regulatory nature (even if they are made negligently);
  • Extinguish any cause of action for policy decisions, including program funding and termination, and the supervision, oversight and control of programs;
  • Expand the immunity of the Crown for actions in tort; and
  • Require plaintiffs to seek leave of the Court when alleging bad faith or misfeasance.

The proposal is very new and OKT has not yet conducted a full analysis of the effects that this might have on section 35 rights and other rights and interests of First Nations. However, we expect that it could have sweeping effects on Crown liability for institutional and regulatory failures with respect to First Nations, including in child protection and environmental regulation.

If your First Nation or First Nation organization is concerned about these changes, please contact us for more information.

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