EDITORIAL: Why Trudeau needs to settle the Indigenous children’s lawsuit
During the election Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the claim his government is fighting Indigenous children in court is “actually not true.” Actually, it is.
The Trudeau government is now appealing the ruling of a federal court judge upholding a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) decision that Indigenous children and their immediate families were abused by Canada’s child welfare system and deserve compensation.
The government has temporarily suspended proceeding with its appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, saying it wants to reach a negotiated settlement with Indigenous representatives by December.
The origins of this dispute go back to 2007, with the CHRT ruling against the government in 2016.
The Trudeau government lost its appeal of that decision in September, when a federal court judge ruled against it, which the Trudeau government is now seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Thus it’s true the Trudeau government is fighting Indigenous children and their families in court.
Since it has already acknowledged Indigenous children were discriminated against and deserve compensation it’s time to settle this case.
Federal concerns that the CHRT exceeded its authority are legitimate, but can be dealt with in the legal wording of the settlement, or by passing legislation on how the funds will be distributed.
This would be an example of reconciliation as opposed to Trudeau lowering the Canadian flag — apparently indefinitely — which he says is in memory of Indigenous children buried in unmarked graves near residential schools.
That’s not reconciliation, its virtue-signalling and it erodes the significance of lowering the flag.