Casino Rama Litigation Commences

On February 13, 2008, the trial in Mnjikaning First Nation v. The Queen in Right of Ontario commenced before Mr. Justice A.M. Gans of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The action concerns the entitlement of the Chippewas of Rama Mnjikaning First Nation to share in the revenues of Casino Rama, which was established on its reserve lands near Orillia, Ontario in 1996 as a partnered initiative with the Province. The dispute stems from the imposition by the provincial government of a 20% tax on the gross revenues of the Casino and has grown to encompass related disputes among Rama Mnjikaning First Nation and other Ontario First Nations. The division of revenues of Casino Rama has already been the subject of earlier litigation, resolved by the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Lovelace v. Ontario, [2000] 1 S.C.R. 950.

Acting as counsel for Rama Mnjikaning First Nation at trial is the Stockwoods team of Phil TunleyBrendan Van NiejenhuisKatherine Hensel and Andrea Gonsalves. The trial is underway at 330 University Avenue, Courtroom 5-0, and is scheduled to conclude May 31, 2008.