June 23, 2017
Ottawa is asking the Federal Court to “review” two items in the latest Human Rights Tribunal ruling that said Canada was still discriminating against Indigenous children over the delivery of services.
After a lengthy legal fight, the tribunal ruled in January 2016 that Canada was breaking the law by not making equitable health and social services payments to Indigenous children living on reserves. A series of non-compliance orders from the tribunal has been issued to the federal government for failure to abide by the ruling. The last one was issued at the end of May.
Health Minister Jane Philpott said they are seeking clarity from the Federal Court on two specific aspects of the ruling: that requests for services must be processed within 12 to 48 hours, and that they be processed without case-conferencing.
Cindy Blackstock, the executive director of the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada, who, along with the Assembly of First Nations, has fought Ottawa regarding their failure to deliver equitable services to Indigenous kids, called the move appalling.
“They are appealing. There is nothing called a clarification,” Blackstock said. “If the federal government was seeking just a clarification from the tribunal themselves, why wouldn’t they just ask? They haven’t asked us. I’ve been meeting with them regularly, and they have never raised this.”