Earlier this week, the Northern View reported that Kitkatla is taking the City of Prince Rupert to court. In court documents, Kitkatla alleges it wasn’t adequately consulted over the City’s decision to sell Watson Island to a joint venture. We’ve decided to put a Muskeg spin on the issue and “file” our own legal suit against Kitkatla. Please don’t take it too seriously.
IN THE ÜBER-SUPREME COURT OF BRITAIN COLUMBUS (B.C.)
MUSKEG PRESS LTD.
NOTICE OF UNCIVIL CLAIM
If you intend to respond to this action, the joke’s on you because this is a satirical mock-legal document. If you do succeed in responding, we’d like to hear it, because:
a) we never filed this document in an actual court of law, and;
b) it would be interesting to hear about a judge who would seriously consider this document, considering it’s written in plain English without even a hint of legalese – that’s what you get when you don’t hire a lawyer to write your legal briefs.
Of course, even though everything and everyone concerned in this legal filing lives in and around Prince Rupert, we will not actually be filing this in Prince Rupert. This is to ensure our high-priced Vancouver lawyers don’t have to walk too far from their cushy offices that overlook Coal Harbour and have some of the most magnificent views in the world. Do you really want to take these poor lawyers away from that? You’re heartless, man. Just heartless.
CLAIM OF THE PLAINTIFF
Part 1: Statement of factoids
1. The plaintiff is the publisher of Muskeg News, among other things. Its president, Chris Armstrong, is a dashing young man whose wit is only equal to his rugged beauty. As the poet said, “Women want him and men want to be him.”
2. The defendant, Gitxaala Nation, is somehow considered a government on par with a provincial entity, even though it only has, like, 250 members or so.
3. Muskeg Press Ltd. has observed courts of law accomodate claims of land when one party doesn’t even have a written record of ownership.
4. Sometimes land in question has been owned by someone else for, like, 50 years, and there was nary a peep out of anyone while it was pumping out pulp and paying its workers ridiculous sums of money for driving a truck around the property or sleeping in the stairwells (just to use a couple of examples).
5. So Muskeg Press Ltd. figgers, hey, if they can do it, why can’t we? We even made up our own little court, the “Über-Supreme Court,” in which we “filed” this document.
6. A representative of Muskeg Press Ltd. visited Kitkatla once in 2010 and saw some great ocean-front property on Dolphin Island that he liked. Now, Muskeg Press Ltd. would like to own that slice of land for the intention of building some sort of cottage on it. Nothing too fancy. You know, just a small house, which could be used as a writer’s retreat or something. In other words, a home-away-from-home where we could get away from the hustle and bustle of Prince Rupert.
7. Gitxaala Nation is completely unaware of Muskeg Press Ltd.’s intentions for this land. In fact, Muskeg Press Ltd. wasn’t even aware of its intentions until…oh about five minutes before this document was written.
8. All the same, we like the land and we want it, so we’re filing a claim in the Über-Supreme Court of Canada showing our intentions.
a) That’s right, the Über-Supreme Court. Obviously that’s not a real court of law, and if you’re taking offense to this document by this point, you’re taking us way too seriously.
Part 2: Relief Sought
1. A declaration from Gitxaala Nation that Muskeg Press Ltd. is awesome and its president, Chris Armstrong, is a literary lion of unequalled valour.
a) This really has nothing to do with anything, but we haven’t won any awards, so we thought a statement like this from a recognized government would make us feel good.
2. A small slice of land on Dolphin Island (see Sect. 1.6-1.8). Is that really too much to ask? C’mon.
3. An injunction barring Gitxaala Nation from filing any more legally frivolous claims until we assume ownership of the land. Hey, we can dream, can’t we?
4. A copy of a Hot Tub Time Machine DVD (unrated version).
5. A proclamation recognizing Muskeg Press Ltd. and its employees as Second Nations. Hmm…maybe actually Third Nations. ‘Cause you’d have to consider the Vikings to be Second Nations, as they discovered Newfoundland way before anybody else, using their courage and ingenuity to get there. And actually, the Third Nations would have to be the Spanish, who basically circumnavigated the entire continent and gave us the gift of map-making. So I guess we’re more like Fourth or Fifth Nations. Call us Fourth-ish Nations, then. Yeah, that sounds good. Fourth-ish.
Part 3: Spurious Legal Basis
1. Muskeg Press Ltd. can throw around lots of Latin phrases on command, such as ad hoc or argumentum ad crumenam or ixnay on the ibel-lay.
2. The rights of a company that’s been around for about a year to make a claim on anything it wants is clearly laid out in Crown v. Fake Italicized Name (2003).
3. We don’t think it is incumbent on the Crown to consult. In fact, the Crown’s duty to do anything in this country is specious at best. I mean, seriously, why is our head of state still the Queen? Don’t you think, deep down, that’s very silly? At least the British can control the Monarchy’s purse strings through Parliament. But Canada? No, we just hire someone to be the Queen’s representative (usually employed by the CBC) for five-year terms to live in luxury at Rideau Hall. And this person is actually the Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces! Honestly, how absurd is this country?!
a) Sorry about that rant. But as clearly stated in Crown v. Rantin’ Billy MacGee (1894), you can pretty much go off on a rant whenever you want in a legal document.
4. Muskeg Press Ltd. pays its taxes to the governments of British Columbia and Canada. These governments, in turn, use part of this revenue to fund aboriginal groups. Ergo, we own part of the claims of aboriginals. We admit it’s a very small percentage, but the land we’re looking at is also very small. Based on a complicated mathematical formula, taking into account inflation & the cost-of-living index, we found the exact size of land equal to the amount of money we pay each year.
a) We actually didn’t create any sort of mathematical formula. But we could!
b) This argument is sort of like when somebody says to a government employee, “I pay taxes, therefore I pay your salary, therefore I can tell you what to do.” And they proceed to tell the government worker how he should do his job. Government workers inevitably take this advice to heart, and cheerfully tell their taxpayer friend to jump off of a bridge or into a lake. We expect a similar response from Gitxaala Nation.
5. The Gitxaala Nation owes Muskeg Press Ltd. an ongoing duty to consult and accommodate its interests because we’ll whine about it all day until they actually take the time to listen to us. Sort of like an unruly child that doesn’t want to go to bed; eventually, you have to deal with him.
6. As clearly stated in Delgamuukw v. British Columbia (1997), oral history is just as important as written evidence in a Canadian court of law. We submit that we’ve had a few conversations with our friends about the land in question, which gives us the right to file this silly legal suit. How is this oral history? Well, we talked about it. In the past. Therefore, whatever we remembered must be true.
So there you have it. If you would like to get in touch with our insanely wealthy Vancouver lawyers, please try to contact the law firm listed below. We warn you, though, like most everything else in this document, we fabricated the contact information, so you probably won’t be able to get through to them.
MacGuffin, MacGyver & MacLovin’
Somewhere in downtown Vancouver