While federal government uses legal loopholes to keep flawed policies for First Nations children in place, documents obtained under access to information say that inequitable child welfare funding contributes to the fact that there are more First Nations children in child welfare care today than at the height of residential schools. The federal government’s response to the “dire” inequality facing First Nations children has been to partially implement a flawed funding formula known as the Enhanced Funding Approach that the Auditor General of Canada has already ruled inequitable in few provinces.
Canada is currently before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal because of its inequitable treatment of First Nations children. However, in December of 2009, the federal government filed a motion to have the case dismissed, claiming that the Canadian Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in government services, does not apply to the funding decisions that determine the level and quality of services to First Nations communities.
Cross examinations on affidavits filed by Canada in support of the motion and by First Nations and others in opposition to the motion have been held last week and this week in Ottawa.