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NDP leadership hopeful Angus promises help for Indigenous kids

The Ontario MP’s plan includes dismantling the Indigenous Affairs Department and creating an ombudsperson for Indigenous children.


 
NDP leadership hopeful Charlie Angus in a snow storm, with the shadow Parliament Hill behind him, in Gatineau December 17, 2016. (Photograph by Blair Gable)

NDP leadership hopeful Charlie Angus in a snow storm, with the shadow Parliament Hill behind him, in Gatineau December 17, 2016. (Photograph by Blair Gable)

OTTAWA — NDP leadership candidate Charlie Angus is promising to find better ways to protect the interests of First Nations, Metis and Inuit children — including by dismantling the Indigenous Affairs Department.

The Ontario MP said he would create a federal ombudsperson for Indigenous children, who would have the legal authority to order government departments to comply with policies aimed at improving child welfare.

Last month, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found the federal government’s failure to fully implement Jordan’s Principle may have played a role in the suicide deaths of two 12-year-old girls from remote Wapekeka First Nation in northwestern Ontario.

The principle lays out how to handle jurisdictional disputes over paying for services to First Nations children, saying the first level of government to be contacted should cover the cost, with arguments over jurisdiction to be sorted out later.

Angus said he would also audit the Indigenous Affairs Department and Health Canada in order to figure out how the government runs its programs and then work with Indigenous communities on giving them the power to run them.

“It’s time for action that returns accountability to where it belongs, with parents and these communities,” Angus said in a news release Sunday.

Angus also said he would work with the parliamentary budget office to determine the true cost of delivering service to Indigenous peoples, ensure the Department of Justice stops fighting aboriginal rights in court and end the “culture of secrecy” when it comes to government plans and funding for Indigenous communities.

Angus is one of five candidates to replace NDP Leader Tom Mulcair in October.


 

NDP leadership hopeful Angus promises help for Indigenous kids

  1. That’s one small step. However, there’s a long tradition of the Canadian government ignoring the studies and considered advice provided in this area; notably, the greater the information bears on abrogation of legal, fiduciary or constitutional responsibilities, the greater the likelihood that it will be ignored; the established pattern also includes ignoring the same information generated multiple times.
    Since indigenous youth represent the only organic growth in Canadian population, we’re collective idiots if we don’t work on the problems and level the playing field. With over 10,000 high school age children unfunded and many of the rest consigned to residential school version 3, merely trouble-shooting the problems with a busted system seems pointless (pointless: the nature of a political act which creates the appearance of doing something when it actually doesn’t).

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