Native rights claimed in tax sale lawsuit
Source: IAN FAIRCLOUGH Valley BureauCanada
ANNAPOLIS ROYAL - An Annapolis County man is claiming native treaty rights in a lawsuit against the county for selling his property at a tax sale.
In a statement of claim and amendment filed with Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Annapolis Royal, Joseph Daniel Landry of Wilmot says he made an aboriginal land claim, which has not been negotiated, for the Station Road property in Wilmot in 1993 and that the municipality was aware of the dispute over non-payment of taxes, failed to negotiate the matter and sold his property illegally.
He said the county is violating his treaty and aboriginal rights by "taxing me and not allowing me to live in peace and harmony, free from hindrance." He is asking for the tax sale to be reversed and for a property tax exemption for the property and $1.6 million in damages.
In defence papers filed by municipal solicitor Bruce Gillis, the county denies all allegations in the statement of claim and says the claim doesn't conform to civil procedure rules.
It states that although some payments have been received from Mr. Landry's wife, the tax account has been in arrears since 1999 and no payments have been made since July 2004.
The defence also says that Mr. Landry has been advised by the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs that his property is not tax-exempt because it is not on a reserve and that the property was sold legally under the Municipal Government Act.
No hearing date has been set and the claims have not been proven.