Milestones upon milestones

Donations for Beaver Lake Cree’s historic tar sands trial have exceeded our wildest expectations – not to mention our goal of $575,000 by November 30. As of this writing, December 10, RAVEN has raised $610,908 for Beaver Lake Cree’s strategic Advance Cost Motion.

So why are we still fundraising? And what’s with the new goal of $675,000? A savvy donor might ask.

The short answer is that a key hearing was postponed from November 26 to February 19. Canada and Alberta are using this delay to make many more requests to Beaver Lake Cree for documents and information, driving costs up. At the request of the Beaver Lake Cree’s legal team, we have decided to increase the goal and continue fundraising through February. Stay tuned for February events with Beaver Lake Cree’s Cole Gladue in Toronto and Montreal.

For those who like legal detail, we asked Karey Brooks, lead counsel for Beaver Lake Cree, to explain where things are at. Here’s what she had to say:

“Beaver Lake is bringing an Advanced Cost motion in which it seeks an exceptional court order that the governments of Canada and Alberta contribute to the costs of the litigation. The basis for the motion is that the claim itself is novel, meritorious, and Beaver Lake is impecunious.

The motion itself is a major undertaking. Beaver Lake has filed 14 Affidavits to establish the case has merit, and that it is in a financially vulnerable position, with many pressing community needs including with respect to the need for water infrastructure and a new school.

The Governments are fighting back. They have cross examined five of Beaver Lake’s witnesses, and made approximately over 150 document and information requests. They have also filed expert evidence to challenge Beaver Lake’s evidence on its financial circumstances. Beaver Lake has been working overtime to respond to their requests and prepare reply expert evidence. The governments are intending to conduct cross examinations on Beaver Lake’s reply evidence.

The Beaver Lake’s legal team has been working hard to prepare the written argument that requires integration of over 3,000 pages of documentary evidence and affidavits. The hearing, initially scheduled for November 26-29, 2018,  has been adjourned at the request of the governments, and is scheduled for February 19-21, 2019.” – Karey Brooks, JFK Law

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