(corrects currency change in paragraph 3)
A human rights tribunal ruling should order the Canadian government to compensate Indigenous children and families for discrimination, a federal court decided Wednesday.
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled in 2016 that the federal government allocated less money to Indigenous people’s child and family services than non-Indigenous people, pushing more Indigenous children into foster care.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government appealed the tribunal’s decision in 2019, which ordered the government to pay C$40,000 ($31,496) to each affected child, the maximum allowed under the Canadian Human Rights Act. The tribunal also said that the parents or grandparents of the children would also be eligible for compensation, barring certain exceptions.
But Federal Court Justice Paul Fawell dismissed the government’s appeal and encouraged both sides to continue talks.
“The parties must decide whether they will continue to sit by the side of the road or move forward in this spirit of reconciliation,” wrote Favell, referring to an indigenous parable about a man who had been a mark for so long. sits near that he grows and he loses his way.
The tribunal’s decision is expected to cost the federal government billions of dollars.
Trudeau’s government can appeal the court’s decision. In the past his government has argued that although the human rights tribunal was right in finding discrimination in the system, it went further by ordering compensation.
The Office of Canada’s Minister of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
($1 = 1.27 Canadian Dollar)
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