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Ottawa, Nov 25 (Canadian-Media): Federal Justice Minister David Lametti and Justice Canada lawyers were of the view that compensating First Nations children impacted by the on-reserve child welfare system covers a wider group of people than the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) ruling, media reports said.
David Lametti. Image credit: Facebook page
Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, had been trying to get the federal government to compensate First Nations children since 2007.
But Ottawa wants to settle the entire matter with cases from 1991 onward outside of the tribunal.
"We have accepted the fact that we have to compensate...but we have to do it in a way that respects everybody who was wronged whether they be children or whether they be families across a wider swath of time," said Lametti.
Advocates for First Nations children accuse the government of trying to dodge the full cost.
"I can't believe I'm still going back to court 13 years after this thing was filed," said Blackstock.
On Monday, the federal government takes its legal fight against the order to Federal Court for two days of hearings because it wants to make amends differently.
All sides of the case -- Ottawa, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and the The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) -- were ordered by the Tribunal to negotiate a method for dealing with the compensation and present it by Dec. 10.
It was also ordered by the tribunal that the parents or grandparents — depending on who was the primary guardian — whose children were taken unjustly from their care would be eligible for at least $20,000.
The federal government had also been urged by Perry Bellegarde, AFN National Chief to drop its judicial review, if that's what families and children prefer.