Ottawa to include $40B in fiscal update to cover compensation for First Nations kids

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Published December 13, 2021 at 2:07 pm

OTTAWA — The federal government has set aside $40 billion to compensate First Nations children and undertake long-term reforms to the child-welfare system. 

Two sources, who spoke to The Canadian Press on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, say the announcement is coming today.

One source says the $40 billion will be reflected in Tuesday’s fall economic statement, but doesn’t mean Ottawa has reached an agreement with child-welfare advocates over the compensation it’s been ordered to pay First Nations children by a human rights tribunal. 

The parties have until the end of the December to reach an agreement on the matter.

Negotiations began after the federal government announced in late October it wanted to reach an out-of-court settlement with First Nations leaders over the compensation it had been ordered to provide children harmed by the underfunding of child and family services on reserve. 

A Federal Court ruling released earlier in the fall upheld orders for Ottawa to pay $40,000 in damages to each of the thousands of individual First Nations children removed from their homes, as well as to some of their relatives.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Monday Dec. 13, 2021

The Canadian Press

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