November 21, 2019 - Ottawa, ON – In a few days, the Federal Government of Canada will take First Nations children back to court in an effort to dismiss a compensation order by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT). On his first day as Canada’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General, the Honourable David Lametti should drop its application for judicial review and stay of the ruling and work with the Assembly of First Nations and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society to develop a plan for children, youth, and families to access compensation.
As organizations committed to the well-being of all children and to the respect of children’s rights, we have been witnesses to the CHRT case of First Nations child welfare and Jordan's Principle.
We witnessed as Canada’s conduct was found to be wilful and reckless in discriminating against First Nations children in care.
We witnessed when Canada was ordered to pay compensation for those who were wrongly removed from their families or denied essential services.
And we witnessed Canada file for judicial review, opting to continue to fight First Nations children in court.
In our work, we have witnessed the effects of the harm of Canada’s discrimination in child and family services.
We are prepared to be a witness again on November 25th and 26th, when children head back to court to ask that the government to respect their right to safety, family, and culture.
But we would rather witness justice.
Today, on your first day as Minister of Justice and Attorney General, we ask that you act in the best interest of children. Please honour the CHRT ruling, drop Canada’s judicial review, and act without delay to compensate the First Nations children, youth and families Canada has harmed.
A Way Home Canada
Canadian Association of Social Workers
Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada
Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children
Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions
Canadian Observatory on Homelessness
First Nations Child and Family Caring Society
Child Welfare League of Canada
Indigenous Bar Association
Children First Canada
Native Child and Family Services of Toronto
Children’s Aid Society of Toronto
Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver
Newfoundland and Labrador Foster Family Association
Students Commission of Canada
Women’s Shelters Canada
Youth in Care Canada