AMC disappointed with Federal Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer’s call for a judicial review of Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision
Treaty One Territory, MB. _ The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) is disappointed with the federal Conservative Party’s platform announced by federal Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer. Scheer went on record to state that, if elected, he would seek a judicial review of a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) decision to compensate First Nations children who were harmed by the on-reserve child welfare system.
On September 6, 2019, the CHRT ordered the federal government to pay the maximum amount allowable under the Canadian Human Rights Act to compensate First Nations children, youth and families harmed by the child welfare system due to Canada’s discriminatory implementation of Jordan’s Principle. The CHRT ordered the federal government to pay $40,000 to each child apprehended from homes and communities under the on-reserve child welfare system, and also compensate some of the parents and grandparents of children who were apprehended.
On October 3, 2019, Andrew Scheer expressed concern of the compensation amount. He said that it would be “appropriate” to seek a judicial review of the CHRT order. Following the comments, a federal Conservative Party spokesperson acknowledged that Scheer is unable to judicially review the CHRT decision, and clarified that Scheer would have done so if he were prime minister today.
The deadline for the federal government to make an appeal is October 7, 2019, two weeks before the federal election.
“The AMC is very concerned that as the federal Conservative Party leader, Mr. Sheer would announce that, if he was Prime Minister, he would seek to judicially review a legal decision, something that he would not be able to do,” said AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas.
Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau did not directly answer what the Liberal government would do if re-elected. Both the NDP and Green Party Leaders committed to respect the Tribunal’s order for compensation.
“All candidates must respect the rule of law,” said Grand Chief Dumas. “No elected official can unilaterally decide to change the law when the rules don’t allow it. This is just social media click bait. There is no opportunity to judicially review the order after the election. For clarity and for electors to make an informed decision, and in the spirit of reconciliation, voters must know ahead of time if their elected officials plan substantive changes to current legislation, particularly if the time to appeal has already passed. The AMC calls on the federal Conservative and Liberal Parties to respect the rule of law and the order of the CHRT as the federal NDP and Green Party have already committed.”
About the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
The AMC was formed in 1988 by the Chiefs in Manitoba to advocate on issues that commonly affect First Nations in Manitoba. AMC is an authorized representative of 62 of the 63 First Nations in Manitoba with a total of more than 151,000 First Nation citizens in the province, accounting for approximately 12 per cent of the provincial population. AMC represents a diversity of Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Nehetho / Ininew (Cree), Anishininew (Ojibwe-Cree), Denesuline (Dene) and Dakota Oyate (Dakota) people.
For more information, please contact:
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
Phone: (204) 987-4139