Thursday, 18 October 2012
CONs & poor First Nation Child Welfare
Top: Child poverty rampant among
Image Source: CBC
Bottom: Harper at Buckingham Palace as Queen
Elizabeth II reveals a portrait of herself.
Image Source: The Chronicle Herald
Government lawyers were trying to quash claims from first nations child rights advocates that Ottawa is short-changing native communities by funding child welfare services at 22 per cent below provincial levels.Years after apologizing for residential schools, the Prime Minister is revealing how truly unconcerned with the third world poverty plaguing many aboriginal communities he is. The Harper Government can sure talk, but the don't do - preferring to sweep issues under the rug - like in this case - or to order band councils to pay $1,300 a day to private, third party consultants to perform "reviews" - as in the case of the Attawapiskat crisis - rather than working to deal with the problems.
The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and the Assembly of First Nations launched a human rights challenge that dates back to 2007.
They say the federal government is discriminating by not providing the same level of child welfare support to first nations children as other children in Canada receive from provincial governments.
Ottawa has challenged the advocates with legal technicalities at every step along the way, arguing that the case does not belong in the court system.
After much back and forth, and more than $3-million later, the Federal Court rejected the government’s arguments, ordering a full hearing at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
("Ottawa spends $3-million to battle first nations child welfare case". Heather Scoffield. Oct. 1, 2012. Canadian Press. )
Given this context, the cheap talk from the aboriginal affairs office would be laughable were the stakes not so high.
A spokesman for Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan said last week that the federal government does not believe the courts are the proper forum for differences over child welfare.
“We believe that the best way to ensure first nations children and families get the supports and services they need is by working together – with first nations, provinces and territories – and not through the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal,” Jan O’Driscoll wrote in an e-mail.
“Our commitment to supporting first nations children and families is clear.”
("Ottawa spends $3-million to battle first nations child welfare case". Heather Scoffield. Oct. 1, 2012. Canadian Press.)
|Stephen Harper's apology to residential school |
survivors: no child welfare funding attached.
Image Source: Dawg's Blog
Harper spoke of the "moral authority" to govern when it came to AdScam and the Liberals. Frankly, the Harper Government's behaviour when it comes to First Nations should be seen as morally scandalous. The Harper Government has lost the moral authority to govern - the Prime Minister should follow his 2008 precedent & quit his job, opening the door to more qualified candidates.
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