Bangloy v Canada (AG), 2021 FC 60

Application dismissed. An Indigenous family alleged that their education benefits were denied as retaliation for previous complaints the family had lodged against Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, and for discrimination based on race, or national or ethnic origin.

Indigenous Law Centre CaseWatch Blog

Thirty years ago, Ms. Bangloy’s mother requested from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s [“INAC”] predecessor, Indian Affairs and Northern Development [“IAND”],  reimbursements of Ms. Bangloy’s tuition fees at a private school in British Columbia. The family argued that the costs were reimbursable under the terms of Treaty 11. IAND’s position was that education expenses could be claimed under the Indian Act, but only for children living on reserve, which Ms. Bangloy was not. The Court sided with IAND, finding that Treaty 11’s terms were confined to the geographical area of the treaty (Beattie v Canada (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development), [1998] 1 FC 104, [“Beattie”]).

This matter deals with the decisions arising from a human rights complaint initiated by Ms. Bangloy and her family. The family launched the complaint after alleging discrimination on the basis of race or national or ethnic origin by INAC for their failure to provide Ms. Bangloy and her children with information regarding education benefits. They also maintained that INAC denied them these education benefits in question as retaliation for previous complaints of discrimination the family had lodged against INAC in Beattie.

The Tribunal found that there was no connection between INAC’s alleged failure to provide Ms. Bangloy with information about obtaining educational benefits and her race or ethnic or national origin. Therefore, she had not made out a claim of discrimination. With regard to the education funding issue in general, the Tribunal found that the same family was raising the same issue that had already been decided by the Federal Court in Beattie. In respect of the complaints of retaliation, the Tribunal found that the existence of a previous complaint was not a factor that influenced INAC’s alleged failure to provide education benefits. Therefore, there was no retaliation involved.

Ms. Bangloy’s application for judicial review required the Court to consider the Tribunal’s conclusions and whether or not they were reasonable. The Court found that the Tribunal’s conclusions that Ms. Bangloy had not made out a claim of discrimination in respect of annuity payments or information about educational benefits was reasonable given the absence of evidence of a connection between INAC’s position and Ms. Bangloy’s race, or national or ethnic origin. The Court concluded that the Tribunal reasonably found that the issue of entitlement to education benefits had already been decided by the Federal Court in Beattie. The Tribunal reasonably concluded that INAC’s conduct was not retaliatory. The Court dismissed this application for judicial review.

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