The Canadian Court of Justice ratifies compensation for indigenous children who face discrimination in the provision of services

The Federal Court of Canada this Wednesday ratified an order issued to Ottawa to compensate indigenous children who have been discriminated against in the provision of government services and forced to leave their homes to gain access to them.

The Canadian Court of Human Rights found in 2016 that the government had discriminated against indigenous minors by failing to fund the child welfare system on the reservations, which led to a compensation order, which the executive filed for judicial review and suspension in 2019.

The Canadian Court of Justice ratifies compensation for indigenous children who face discrimination in the provision of services
The Canadian Court of Justice ratifies compensation for indigenous children who face discrimination in the provision of services

The government argued that in setting the payment of Canadian $ 40,000 – € 27,000 – the court exaggerated and incorrectly set the maximum limit set in Canadian Human Rights Act for each of the minors involved. In addition, it was also found that the children’s parents and grandparents are entitled to compensation.

Some estimates put the number of children potentially affected at around 50,000, with the largest number in the province of British Columbia. The ruling also affects children on reservations in the Yukon.

In this context, Judge Paul Favel emphasized this Wednesday that he had not been able to determine that the order for economic compensation against the group was “unreasonable” and stressed that it was a “complex case of discrimination”.

Favel also appealed to the negotiations of the parties, whose “good work”, despite their “good will”, was “incomplete” in his opinion, in order to remedy this “unprecedented discrimination”. “The parties have to decide whether to continue sitting on the roadside or continue with this spirit of reconciliation,” he wrote in the judgment, reports the Canadian broadcaster CBC.

For her part, the executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Care Society, Cindy Blackstock, has called the verdict a “total victory” for the children and has questioned whether the government will finally lay down its sword to “fight” these minors.

Blackstock has warned that the executive may still appeal the verdict, for which he calls on the population to seek justice for indigenous children.

In particular, he has asked Canadians to send “messages” to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking him not to contest the verdict, a key issue for “for the sake of the truth, reconciliation and the path to healing,” he added First Nations Assembly, RoseAnne Archibald.

On the other hand, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller has assured CBC that the government will need time to review the decision before deciding whether to appeal and has stated that the executive branch is open to negotiation is.

“I can tell any Canadian or Indian that we are making progress in talking to the parties involved to ensure that people are receiving adequate compensation,” he added.

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