Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Aboriginal child welfare case will be heard, court of appeal rules

  • Print

OTTAWA -- The federal government was dealt another blow this week in its attempt to keep a human rights case over child welfare funding for aboriginal kids from being heard.

The federal court of appeal Monday dismissed an appeal by Ottawa, and upheld the federal court's earlier decision that the case could proceed before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

At issue is a six-year-old human rights complaint by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, which says Ottawa has for years spent less on child welfare for kids living on reserves than the provinces spend for children who live off reserves. The society argued the funding gap has left on-reserve kids with less programming and less quality services, and often means kids on reserves are taken into care faster and more often than their off-reserve counterparts.

In 2008 the Canadian Human Rights Commission ordered the complaint be heard by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. The federal government challenged the tribunal's jurisdiction in court but lost their initial argument and the appeal. In 2011, the federal government successfully convinced the CHRT chair to dismiss the complaint.

In her decision, CHRT chairwoman Shirish Chotalia said the human rights act allows complaints only based on services provided differently by the same level of government, and since Ottawa did not fund any children but those living on reserves, it would be unfair to compare their services to those provided by the provinces.

She likened it to an employee at one company complaining an employee at another company receives better treatment.

The Caring Society went to court to challenge the tribunal's decision and won, when the judge agreed it was unreasonable to suggest you couldn't compare the federal government's offerings to children to what the provinces offered.

The federal court of appeal upheld that decision Monday.

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal had already begun hearings in the matter and will now continue starting April 2 in Ottawa.

 

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart - The Floodway Connection

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A pelican comes in for a landing Wednesday afternoon on the Red River at Lockport, Manitoba - Standup photo- June 27, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Geese fly in the morning light over Selkirk Ave Wednesday morning- Day 22– June 13, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on a report that shows violent crime is decreasing in Winnipeg?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google