Human rights tribunal critical of Ottawa for actions in child welfare case

Human rights tribunal critical of Ottawa for actions in child welfare case

OTTAWA—The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal is pushing back the deadline for Ottawa to get rolling on compensation for First Nations children and their families over child welfare services, but the delay comes with a sharp rebuke for the federal government over its actions in the case.

The tribunal sent a letter to the government, as well as the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society other parties in the case, saying they now have until Jan. 29, 2020 to figure out a way forward on the compensation package.

The tribunal ruled in September that Ottawa was to pay $ 40,000 to all First Nations children who had been inappropriately placed in foster care because of the federal government’s continued underfunding of the child welfare system for children living on reserve.

The panel gave the parties until Dec. 10 to discuss how to identify those who should receive the money and how the funds would be distributed.

Ottawa went to Federal Court to challenge the order and a decision is still pending after arguments were heard earlier this week.

The panel says in today’s letter that it “does not appreciate” Ottawa forcing the tribunal to push back the deadline by going to court and refusing to do anything to work on the compensation package in the meantime.

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