OTTAWA, May 26, 2017 /CNW/ - The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, and the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, issued the following statement today:
Our government is ensuring that First Nations children and families have access to the services and supports they need.
For many months, we have been working diligently to implement the orders in previous decisions of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) on Jordan's Principle. Over the past year, we have proactively identified as many First Nations children in need as possible to get them the services they require, and will continue to do so. As of March 31, 2017, more than 4,900 requests for health, social and educational products or services have been approved for First Nations children under the Jordan's Principle Child-First Initiative.
We are reaching out to First Nations families, health providers and key stakeholders to raise awareness of Jordan's Principle, encourage families to come forward, and help families obtain the services and supports they need.
We have worked quickly to allocate funds to support children as soon as they are identified. A broad range of services and supports have been covered, including respite care, mental health supports, mobility aids, transportation to appointments, addiction treatment and education support. These have been funded by the Government's commitment of up to $382.5 million over three years under the Jordan's Principle Child-First Initiative.
We have also been working in close partnership with First Nations organizations to put in place First Nations-led resources on the ground in every region of the country over the past six months, in order to better identify First Nations children in need and get them the supports they require. We believe this new infrastructure is critical to delivering services in areas where historically such supports have not been available.
Today, the CHRT has provided its latest ruling regarding the Government of Canada's compliance with the CHRT's orders on Jordan's Principle. The Government of Canada has consistently stated its intent to act in compliance with the CHRT's orders related to Jordan's Principle and has put in place concrete measures to do so. We are carefully reviewing today's decision and, in particular, those areas where the CHRT has concluded that full compliance has not yet been reached while continuing to communicate effectively to reach those who need help.
The wellbeing of First Nations children and families is a priority for the Government of Canada. We will continue to work with First Nations partners and communities, as well as the provinces and territories, ensuring that all First Nations get the care they need.
This statement is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca and www.hc-sc.gc.ca.
SOURCE Health Canada
For further information: media may contact: Andrew MacKendrick, Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200; Media Relations, Health Canada, 613-957-2983; Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 613-697-8316; Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160