Liberals must end discrimination against First Nations children immediately

OTTAWA – Today, the NDP held a technical briefing with the Executive Director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, Cindy Blackstock, on the NDP’s Opposition Day motion on First Nations Child Welfare. New Democrats are calling on the government to comply with the historic ruling of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ordering the end of discrimination against First Nations children.


“In response to failing to comply with the legal orders from the Tribunal, this Prime Minister and his government announced consultations on First Nations Child Welfare. They then tried to insinuate that the 155 million dollar shortfall was created in a back room as a partisan trick instead of knowing that it was identified by key expert Cindy Blackstock,” said NDP Indigenous and Northern Affairs Critic Charlie Angus (Timmins – James Bay). “This is about delivering for these kids.”


The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that the government discriminates against First Nations children in its delivery of child welfare services on reserves. Since the ruling, the Tribunal has issued two compliance orders to compel the Liberals to act and in response the Liberals announced they would hold consultations instead of taking immediate action.


“We are losing children every single day in our communities dying from suicide, children being taken away from their parents and put into a broken foster care system,” added Angus. “We are asking Parliament to take responsibility for this. It will be up to Parliament to force this government to meet their legal obligations for the protection of children who are suffering in a broken system, suffering systemic discrimination and suffering from hopelessness.”


Senator Murray Sinclair, the former chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and Cindy Blackstock, the Executive Director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, as well as many other key stakeholders have spoken out in favour of this motion and have urged Members of Parliament to vote in favour on Tuesday.