Hu­man rights tri­bunal crit­i­cal of Ottawa, child wel­fare case

The Peterborough Examiner - - CANADA & WORLD -

OTTAWA — The Cana­dian Hu­man Rights Tri­bunal is push­ing back the dead­line for Ottawa to get rolling on com­pen­sa­tion for First Na­tions chil­dren and their fam­i­lies over child wel­fare ser­vices.

The tri­bunal sent a let­ter to the gov­ern­ment, as well as the First Na­tions Child and Fam­ily Car­ing So­ci­ety and other par­ties in the case, say­ing they now have un­til Jan. 29, 2020, to fig­ure out a way for­ward on the com­pen­sa­tion pack­age.

The hu­man rights tri­bunal ruled in Septem­ber that Ottawa was to pay $40,000 to all First Na­tions chil­dren who had been in­ap­pro­pri­ately placed in foster care be­cause of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s con­tin­ued un­der­fund­ing of the child wel­fare sys­tem for chil­dren living on re­serve. The panel gave the par­ties un­til Dec. 10 to dis­cuss how to iden­tify those who should re­ceive the money and how the funds would be dis­trib­uted.

Ottawa went to Fed­eral Court to chal­lenge the or­der and a de­ci­sion is still pend­ing af­ter ar­gu­ments were heard ear­lier this week.

The panel says in the let­ter that it “does not ap­pre­ci­ate” Ottawa forc­ing the tri­bunal to push back the dead­line by go­ing to court and re­fus­ing to do any­thing to work on the com­pen­sa­tion pack­age in the mean­time.

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