On June 2, 2015 Justice Elizabeth M. Stewart of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice Toronto rendered her decision pertaining to my Summary Judgement Motion − Lynn Gehl Vs Attorney General of Canada − regarding the unknown and unstated paternity discrimination in the Indian Act. This matter was heard on October 20 through 22, 2014. Many friends and allies were present as were members of the Ontario Native Women's Association and the Canadian Council of Natural Mothers.
Justice Stewart determined that my application for Indian status was treated the same as all other applications. Further, Justice Stewart determined that an unknown or unknowable paternity is not an enumerated or an analogous ground of section 15 of the Charter. Section 15 reads:
Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
From the perspective of a plaintiff versus a lawyer, I am having many preliminary thoughts about this decision but will refrain from commentary at this time. That said it is important for me to express that I am disappointed with the decision, as well as let people know that I will be discussing my options with the legal team at Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto, specifically Christa Big Canoe, as the litigation of this matter has not been exhausted nor finalized.
Miigwetch for all the love and support and kaawiin jida that this news is not what many people expected.
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