Liard First Nation (LFN) has filed a statement of defence to an investigation company’s lawsuit alleging that the First Nation owes it more than $60,000 in unpaid bills, denying that any contract was ever put in place between the two parties.
Xpera Risk Mitigation and Investigation LP filed a statement of claim to the Yukon Supreme Court on April 11, alleging that LFN, with the authorization of chief and council and the approval of the elders council, retained Xpera in 2016 to “conduct an internal investigation relating to a previous Liard First Nation chief and council and mismanagement of funds.”
The lawsuit claims that LFN, to date, has not paid three invoices issued between March 2016 and June 2017, which, with interest, amount to $61,390.02.
However, in a statement of defence filed May 14, LFN denies “each and every allegation” in Xpera’s statement of claim. In particular, the statement of defence denies that a contract existed between the two, noting that no contract with an Indian Act band is binding unless a band council resolution authorizing the contact was passed at a band meeting, or the majority of the council delegated someone to negotiate a contract on its behalf.
In the alternative, the statement of defence says that if a contract exists, it is either not binding or does not allow for Xpera to charge for the amounts outlined in its claim.
LFN is asking for the lawsuit to be dismissed with legal costs.