HOPE BAY, Ontario - A group of 60 cottage-owners in Ontario is suing the Chippewa Indians and the Canadian government for forcing them out, the Toronto Star reported Friday.
The dispute is centered on Hope Bay, northwest of Toronto on Lake Huron's Georgian Bay. In December 2006, the residents, many of whom built their cottages by hand more than 40 years ago, were told by the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs they had a month to vacate the leased properties for the Chippewas.
Karen McCulloch, spokeswoman for the cottagers, said the suit seeks general damages and legal fees of $40 million and $10 million in punitive damages, the Star reported.
"It's really sad when a group of Canadian citizens has to turn to litigation to hold their government accountable," McCulloch said.
The suit was filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto and claims the federal department behaved in a "high handed and reprehensible" fashion, the newspaper said.
An Indian affairs spokeswoman in Ottawa said the claim was being reviewed and refused to comment.
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