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ICFSD News Release: CHRT ruling against FSA on Compensation

BC’s Indigenous Child & Family Services Directors stand with the Caring Society in welcoming today’s Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling

BC’s Indigenous Child & Family Services Directors stand with the Caring Society in welcoming today’s Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling. The CHRT’s letter ruling confirms that all children and families who suffered from Canada’s discrimination are entitled to the full $40,000 of compensation ordered by the CHRT in 2019.

Earlier this year, Canada reached a $20 billion agreement with the Assembly of First Nations and with the lawyers representing class action complainants. The agreement expanded compensation beyond the children and families covered by the CHRT-ordered compensation to cover discrimination dating back to 1991. The agreement also provided for compensation amounts far exceeding $40,000 for some children and families. However, the agreement also reduced and eliminated compensation for some children and families who suffered from Canada’s discriminatory funding of child & family services and Jordan’s Principle.

The ICFS Directors fully support those aspects of the compensation agreement that extend beyond the CHRT orders, but we do not support the compromises that were made in order to reach an agreement with Canada. The children and families who were left out of that agreement—our children and families—have already been recognized as victims entitled to compensation by the CHRT. As noted in the CHRT ruling, that entitlement cannot simply be erased: “The Canadian Human Rights Act does not grant fleeting rights: once entitlements are recognized under the CHRA, they cannot be removed.”

We call on Canada to immediately fulfill its legal obligation to pay the victims of its discrimination the $40,000 ordered by the CHRT (and upheld by the Federal Court), and to provide all necessary supports to ensure the compensation achieves the intended goals.

We also express our support and respect for the authority of our leadership across BC. Our chiefs, through BCAFN and First Nations Summit resolutions, have called on the AFN to ensure that their free, prior and informed consent is provided before any agreements pertaining to our children and families are made.