Regarding the Proposed Final Trust Distribution
Date: August 23, 2017
What is the HART trust?
The High Arctic Relocatees Trust (HART) was created in 1996 as a result of a settlement agreement between Makivik Corporation and the federal government. The monies in this trust are compensation principally for two classes of beneficiaries, the High Arctic Relocatees, whom were relocated in the 1950s from Inukjuak, Quebec, and Pond Inlet, in the then Northwest Territories, to Grise Fiord and Resolute Bay; and the High Arctic Descendants, who are the current descendants of the High Arctic Relocatees.
HART has provided financial benefits since 1996 for education, social, cultural and socio-economic needs of the trust beneficiaries, namely by covering, in whole or in part, costs incurred for communal visits, travelling and commemorative activities.
The management of HART is done by six (6) trustees whom are responsible to ensure of management of the trust capital and distribution of revenues.
Why is the HART completinga final distribution of the trust capital?
Since the creation of the trust, the goal was to ensure the capital would remain in place until 2031 (for 35 years). The expectation was that revenue generated by investments of the HART trust capital would be sufficient enough to cover cash distributions to the beneficiaries.
HART is striving to respect the purpose of the trust, which is to maximize benefits paid out to the trust beneficiaries. However, providing cash distributions to the beneficiaries has become a difficult task, since returns on secure investments of the HART trust capital have been minimal as a result of poor world economic conditions, low interest rates and the impact of the 2008 international financial lending and stock market crisis.
As a result, to ensure that HART maintained its purpose, in 2010, the Quebec Superior Court authorized the HART trustees to make a partial capital distribution to the High Arctic Relocatees. Unfortunately, since that time, HART has still been facing the same difficulty in providing adequate distributions to its beneficiaries, whose numbers are increasing every year.
The HART trustees therefore advanced the idea that a final partition of the trust patrimony be implemented. This will entail a final accounting of the administration of the trust by the Trustees as well as the payment of a final distribution on a per capita, lump sum basis; the whole of which would require the approval of the Quebec Superior Court.
In order to complete a final distribution, the legal and financial approach used is the creation of a new trust called the High Arctic Relocatee Partition Trust (HARPT), whose mandate would be, if and when the court approval is obtained, to receive all transferred trust capital from the HART and then distribute it to the HART beneficiaries (who would also be considered as the HARPT beneficiaries).
The Proposed Final Distribution Process
Subject to court approval of the final trust distribution, all beneficiaries should be able to benefit from a final, lump sum distribution of funds in the shorter term, in particular, High Arctic Relocatees, many of whom are in their remaining years.
By way of clarification, the final distributions would be more substantial for High Arctic Relocatees (who directly suffered the consequences of the relocation) than for High Arctic Descendants.
In order to proceed with the termination of the trust, the HART trustees need to verify the list of beneficiaries eligible to receive distribution payments from the HART, in particular, to add any potential High Arctic Descendants eligible to receive a payment.
Am I eligible to qualify as a HART beneficiary?
There are primarily 2 categories of HART beneficiaries:
How do I apply for benefits?
In the coming weeks, an online form will be available on this website in order to apply for benefits as a HART beneficiary. If you believe you may qualify as a HART beneficiary, we invite you, if you have not already done so, to submit an application form through our website. A printable paper form will also be available in the coming weeks for those that wish to submit their application by e-mail, fax or mail.
We invite you to use our online form as it is the simplest and quickest method to complete, but you may also use the other methods:
The HART reserves the right to request, to the satisfaction of the HART trustees, additional documentation establishing proof as to identity, affiliation to a community or to determine eligibility for benefits under the HART.
What about my child under 18 years old? Could he/she be eligible?
YES: a minor under 18 years old can be eligible as a High Arctic Descendant if he/she is a direct descendant in the second or third degree (or greater). A parent or legal guardian can complete an application form for the minor as indicated above and the HART administrator will study whether the minor child is eligible.
Who can I contact if I have any questions?
We invite you to contact HART if you have any questions by telephone at 1-800-361-7052, ext. 2276, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.