Government still undecided on whether to fight Indigenous child-welfare rulings

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OTTAWA — Canada’s attorney general says with only two days until the court deadline, the Liberal cabinet still has not decided whether or not to appeal a decision that would see the government pay out billions of dollars in compensation to Indigenous families.

Government still undecided on whether to fight Indigenous child-welfare rulings
© Provided by The Canadian Press

Last month the Federal Court upheld two decisions by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal that found Ottawa didn’t properly fund child and family services, which resulted in it “wilfully and recklessly” discriminating against Indigenous children living on reserve.

The tribunal ordered the federal government to pay $40,000 each to about 50,000 First Nations children as well as their relatives.

The government has committed to compensating the children and their families but officials say they have yet to decide whether to appeal the federal court decision.

Attorney General David Lametti says the situation is complicated, but would not elaborate further.

When asked who would ultimately make the final decision — cabinet, the attorney general or the prime minister himself — Crown-Indigenous Affairs Minister Marc Miller would only say that it will be a decision of the government.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2021.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press

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