COMMISSION OF INQUIRY
INTO MATTERS RELATING TO THE DEATH OF NEIL STONECHILD
APPLICATION OF JASON ROY
The applicant will appear as a witness at the Inquiry. He has indicated,
on several occasions, that he has personal knowledge of Neil Stonechild's
involvement with members of the Saskatoon Police Service on November 24,
He has retained counsel. He now applies for funding for his legal
representation as a witness. He also seeks standing as a party in the
Mr. Roy is unemployed and has no financial resources. Given the potential
importance of his evidence his presence as a witness before the Commission
is essential. He meets the criteria set by the Commission for funding in
his capacity as a witness. I refer to the Terms of Reference and in
particular, paragraph 5:
The Commission shall, as
an aspect of its duties, determine applications by those parties, if
any, or those witnesses, if any, to the public inquiry that apply to
the Commission to have their legal counsel paid for by the
Commission, and further, determine at what rate such Counsel shall
be paid for their services.
RULING AS TO FUNDING
Mr. Roy is entitled to funding with respect to his legal representation
as a witness. The funding will apply to the days when Mr. Roy appears as
a witness at the Inquiry. Counsel's compensation will apply on the basis
of one hour's preparation for each hour of attendance at the Inquiry.
Time spent by his counsel at the request of the Commission including
Commission counsel or in attending with his client while the client is
being interviewed by the Commission counsel may also be billed as
I have reviewed Mr. Winegarden's material and his submission with
respect to his hourly rate. Given counsel's experience and length of
time at the, Bar, it is appropriate to set his hourly rate at $145.00.
If alternate counsel appears for Mr. Winegarden that person's hourly
rate will be fixed at $125.00.
Counsel will submit an invoice to Commission counsel on a monthly basis,
the invoice to set out the nature of the work done and disbursements.
RULING AS TO STANDING AS A PARTY
In his affidavit Mr. Roy, after dealing with his role as a potential
witness makes these statements:
THAT I have come to believe that the Justice system in Saskatchewan is
designed to control First Nations people and not to work on our behalf. I
believe there is no avenue for people like myself to inform and direct the
actions of the justice system in Saskatchewan.
THAT since the information I have has come to public light, I have spoken
with many other First Nation people about the incident in question and
about the justice system in general. It is my conclusion that there are
many First Nations people like myself who feel alienated from the justice
system and who feel that the authorities would rather incarcerate First
Nations people than act in their behalf.
THAT I am committed to offer all my personal knowledge and experiences as
a First Nations person to help in any investigation into the death of Neil
Stonechild and to aid this Commission in drawing its conclusions.
Mr. Roy's offer of assistance is welcome. It appears he can assist the
Commission significantly by appearing as a witness.
With respect, there is no evidence he represents, officially or
unofficially, First Nations people beyond himself. There are those who do,
including the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations. Mr. Roy is not
qualified to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Neil
Stonechild or the subsequent investigation.
It is not necessary or appropriate to add Mr. Roy as a party to the
I appreciate that not every eventuality can be anticipated. Circumstances
may require that the bases for funding be re-visited at a later date.
Counsel will have leave to apply for directions as they may be advised.
Any such application shall be in writing and the other parties shall be
served with copies of it.
Dated at the City of Saskatoon, in the Province of Saskatchewan, this 13th
day of June, 2003.
Mr. Justice David H. Wright