Following Canada’s inaugural National Day of Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stop the federal government’s long-standing court battle with First Nations children and their families, and to compensate them for the effects of inadequate and discriminatory funding.
On Sept. 29, the Federal Court dismissed an appeal by the federal government for a judicial review of the rulings of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to compensate First Nations children and their families. RNAO deems this appeal and denial of compensation unacceptable. The rulings show that the federal government inadequately funded services for First Nations children and took an overly narrow approach to determining eligibility for Jordan’s Principle, which states no health, social or educational service for a First Nations child be denied or delayed due to disagreements between different levels of government.
“First Nations children and their families must be compensated for the harm caused by the misguided and discriminatory decision of the past,” says RNAO CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun. “This is a critically important concrete action to begin responding in a way that is congruent with the spirit of truth and reconciliation. It would be unthinkable to continue adding injustices to those inflicted in the past,” urges Grinspun.
RNAO has issued an Action Alert and is encouraging everyone to sign it to urge the federal government to stop fighting First Nations children in court and pay children and their families what they are rightfully owed.
“This Action Alert provides Canadians with the opportunity to demand that the prime minister lead the federal government to end this fight and respect the rulings of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal,” says RNAO President Morgan Hoffarth. “First Nations children and their families deserve compensation for the harm caused by the federal government’s actions.”
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve. For more information about RNAO, visit RNAO.ca or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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