South Bruce Peninsula to appeal court decision on Treaty 72 implementation

The South Bruce Peninsula Borough Council voted unanimously to issue a notice of appeal after the High Court recently ruled that the federal government had breached royal honor in enforcing Article 72 of the treaty.

The court found that, in an 1855 inquiry, lands sold by the Crown, including the town and a portion of Sauble Beach owned by various private landowners, should have been included within the boundaries of Saugeen Indian Reserve No. 29. Although the Crown transferred legal title and issued a valid Crown Patent more than a century ago, the court declared that the land now forms part of the Saugeen Reserve.

The decision raises important and unexpected issues, including the actual location of the eastern boundary of Preserve No. 29, which was not defined in the court’s reasoning. These unresolved issues have serious implications for land east of Sauble Beach currently owned by the town, businesses and community members, including Lakeshore Boulevard itself.

In a statement issued by the council, they noted that they wanted to engage in a constructive dialogue with Saugeen First Nation leaders to resolve these issues in a spirit of reconciliation. However, they believe that the issuance of the notice of appeal is necessary to preserve the rights of the town and landowners while these discussions take place. has reached out to South Bruce Peninsula Township Mayor Garry Michi and Saugeen First Nations Chief Conrad Ritchie for comment.

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