Child Welfare Motion is a Step Towards Ending Canada’s Greatest Social Injustice

Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day
Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day

TORONTO – Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day statement on the Canadian Human Rights Ruling to provide immediate funding to child welfare services on reserves, as well as adopt Jordan’s Principle:

“Today, Parliamentarians have the opportunity to finally end decades of discrimination against First Nation children by voting in favour of an NDP motion calling upon the federal government to comply with a now 10-month-old Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) ruling,” said Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day. “I am optimistic to hear that the Liberal government will support the motion. They are finally acknowledging the urgency to end this shameful discrimination against our children.”

“The lack of funding and services, combined with poverty and despair, is this country’s greatest social injustice since the days of residential schools. All Canadians must demand that all levels of government recognize that First Nation children must have access to the same services as their own children.”

The motion specifically calls upon the government to do the following four actions:

1. Immediately invest an additional $155 million in new funding for the delivery of child welfare that has been identified as the shortfall this year alone, and establishing a funding plan for future years that will end the systemic shortfalls in First Nations child welfare;

2. Implement the full definition of Jordan’s Principle as outlined in a resolution passed by the House on December 12, 2007;

3. Fully comply with all orders made by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and commit to stop fighting Indigenous families in court who are seeking access to services covered by the federal government, and;

4. Make public all pertinent documents related to the overhaul of child welfare and the implementation of Jordan’s Principle.

Jordan River Anderson was a five-year-old First Nation boy from Manitoba who spent his whole life in the hospital because the federal and provincial governments spent those five years of his life debating on who would pay the hospital bills.

“This cruel and callous behaviour is simply appalling. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s first five Calls to Action are aimed ending this ongoing child welfare tragedy that not only robs parents of their children, but robs children of their childhoods.

“There is a direct connection between the current child welfare system and the fact that far too many of our children either commit suicide, end up missing and murdered, or spend their young lives in prison. This federal government must also implement the TRC Calls to Action. We cannot lose another child. Canada’s greatest shame must end now.”

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