‘Comply Canada’ on orders from Human Rights Tribunal

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016 4:53pm


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AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde ( photo: file)

A motion has been filed with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) to push Canada to take action on the January 2016 ruling that Ottawa is discriminating against First Nations children in care.

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde filed the motion which calls for the tribunal to issue yet another compliance order to the government and set the stage for further orders and other actions should the government continue to ignore the Tribunal’s ruling.

“The Trudeau Government has repeatedly said that the most important relationship for Canada to rebuild is the one with Indigenous peoples,” said Bellegarde. “It’s time to move beyond words, end this impasse and implement the Tribunal’s decision and provide fairness and justice for First Nations children.

“We will not wait idly while another generation is subjected to discriminatory funding. Our children cannot wait. We need immediate remedies and a long-term approach to ensure our children are safe and raised in healthy, caring environments.”

The AFN motion was only one of a number of motions filed on Nov. 22, reads a press release. Other parties filing motions include the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, Chiefs of Ontario and Nishnawbe Aski Nation.

The AFN’s motion specifically focuses on the need for a process to address mid-term and long-term relief to support and reform First Nations child and family services. Other motions filed address the need for action in other areas, including immediate relief.

“We recognize that it will take a lot of effort and collaboration to reform the child welfare system in Canada,” said Bellegarde. “We don’t want to dismiss what is necessary to address medium to long-term needs to protect First Nations children and to ensure the system is reflective of our goals of restoring First Nations jurisdiction and responsibility for our own children. But the resources that we are talking about are needed now in our family services agencies.”