• Michael Laxer

"Stop fighting First Nation children in court": Ontario Nurses' Association email action campaign


Parliament buildings lit up on the eve of the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, September 29 -- photo via Twitter


The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) has issued an "Action Alert" email petition that people can sign and send calling on the government to finally stop fighting First Nations children in court by not appealing a September 29 Federal Court ruling.


The Federal Court dismissed the federal government's appeal for a judicial review of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal order that Ottawa pay $40,000 in compensation "to each child affected by the on-reserve child welfare system since 2006." The government now has 30 days to appeal this ruling.


The RNAO, however, is saying it is time for "the federal government to stop fighting First Nations children in court and pay children and their families what they are rightfully owed."


In a press release October 6, RNAO CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun says "First Nations children and their families must be compensated for the harm caused by the misguided and discriminatory decision of the past. 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,"


According to RNAO President Morgan Hoffarth "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".


The email with the subject line Stop fighting First Nation children in court, prime minister! reads:


I urge you to stop the federal government’s court battle with First Nation kids and respect, finally, the rulings of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT). These rulings found that the federal government inadequately funded services for First Nation children and took an overly narrow approach for eligibility for Jordan’s Principle. It found that the federal government knew that these discriminatory practices were forcing First Nation children into state care. And, justly, the Tribunal ordered the federal government to compensate First Nation children and their families for the harm caused.
Prime Minister Trudeau, as you know, on Sept. 29, 2021 the Federal Court dismissed the federal government’s application for a judicial review of the CHRT decisions. And now, prime minister, it is time to call an end to this fight and, finally, respect the rulings of the CHRT and compensate those who have been harmed by the federal government’s actions.
I urge you, prime minister, In the spirit of reconciliation and in consideration of the tremendous needs of these children, to stop fighting in court and pay the children and their families what they are owed.

You can sign and send one here: Stop fighting First Nation children in court: Concrete Action on Truth & Reconciliation | RNAO.ca

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