Nipawin - March 10, 2001 - by: Mario deSantis


A common theme of a segment of our writing has been the emphasis on individual rights in
the face of no-fault governments. Therefore, today I am happy that the good work of lawyer
Tony Merchant has finally surfaced on behalf of the many abused Indians who attended
residential schools.




The law firm of Tony Merchant could gross $100 million in handling the cases of some
4,300 survivors who attended these residential schools(1), while the total liabilities of these
cases will be in the order of few billion dollars(2). If it wouldn't have been for the intelligent
work of some lawyers such as Tony Merchant, this legal social disgrace wouldn't have
surfaced yet and we would have continued with business as usual.




The outstanding work of Tony Merchant is more appreciated when you consider that he was
reprimanded and fined by the Law Society of Saskatchewan for soliciting a former Indian
residential school student in a misleading manner(3). Yet Tony Merchant has not been found
unfair in representing some 4,300 former residential school students.




Deputy Prime Minister Herb Gray has discounted the cultural genocide effected by the
residential school programs(4), and the FSIN vice-chief Lawrence Joseph has complained
that lawyers are making so much money at the expense of the school survivors(5). I must
point out, first that so much money is going out to governmental lawyers for dragging
their feet in their delay tactics, and second that Tony Merchant has been charging reasonable
fees after he took the challenge to work with no pay.




We must thank Tony Merchant for reminding us that the pursuing of justice requires
individual initiative rather than the work of our no-fault government.
  List of relevant political and economics articles


Law firm strikes goldmine, by James Parker, The StarPhoenix, March 9, 2001, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Abuse suits may hit $10B, lawyer says, Richard Foot, February 6, 2001 National Post


Regina lawyer fined by law society, CBC Saskatchewan, December 8, 2000


Complex issue, by Herb Gray, Deputy Prime Minister, March 7, 2001 Ottawa


FSIN blames government for lawyers' "appalling" windfall, CBC Saskatchewan, March 9, 2001