2023-01-25 09:00:00

Ottawa to begin 'intense' talks to rewrite First Nations child welfare compensation deal

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CBC
By Olivia Stefanovich

Ottawa will attempt to renegotiate its $20-billion compensation package for people affectedby the First Nations child welfare system, court records say.

Federal officials are expected to begin "intense confidential discussions" on Feb. 7 and 8 to re-work the $20-billion compensation agreement that was rejected last fallby the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, according to a letter filed in Federal Court.

The Trudeau government is trying to save the multi-billion dollar agreement it struck with the Assembly of First Nations last year. The deal was supposed to compensate First Nations children and their families forchronicunderfundingof the on-reserve child welfare system and other family services.

"I'm hopeful, but I'm also mindful that the prime minister originally said he would compensate these children back in 2019," said Cindy Blackstock, the First Nations children's advocate who initiated the case 16 years ago.

"Yetnot one penny of compensation has gone out the door. So a promise to pay is not a payment."

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