Outrageous and egregious, says Elizabeth May responding to government’s challenge to decision on First Nations children

SIDNEY, B.C. — Today the Liberals went far beyond the normal reach of a writ period “caretaker government”, when they challenged the recent landmark ruling by the Candian Human Rights Tribunal to compensate First Nations children who were damaged by the on-reserve child welfare system.

“How was this decision reached?” said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. “I call on Justin Trudeau to explain how it is that the legal challenge has been launched. Trudeau must explain and reverse this outrage. The Indigenous Peoples have suffered, and continue to suffer human rights abuses. So when we are finally called upon to rectify one small portion of these harms, they pull this? We’re so ready to criticize other countries on their human rights abuses, yet we cannot even honor and care for First Nations peoples in Canada.”

Ms. May pointed out that the Green Party budget includes $2 billion to honour the ruling of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in the matter of unequal treatment of Indigenous children.

Green Party Indigenous Affairs critic Lorraine Rekmans observed that Canada is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD) yet fails the most vulnerable population in Canada, First Nations children.

“The Liberal government has fought the Human Rights Tribunal on this issue for years,” said Ms. Rekmans. “There is no logic in their resistance to continue this racialized discrimination. There is no reason, political or otherwise to continue to punish children who are living in poverty. The simple fact is that the Liberal government is refusing to uphold human rights for children in Canada. Greens will stand up for these children who have been pushed to the margins where this government continues to hold them. Greens will uphold human rights in Canada.”

Ms. May concluded that Canada has a profound legal obligation to reconcile and provide restitution for the colonial relations – marked by violent expropriation, displacement, and forced assimilation – that have undermined the cultural, governance and economic foundations of the Indigenous Peoples of this land.

“I call on Justin Trudeau to explain this outrage.”

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Rosie Emery
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