Dr. Dawg

Harper's war against Aboriginal children

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Here’s a video that Harper’s lawyers didn’t want the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to see. The Tribunal is now conducting hearings with respect to a claim on behalf of Aboriginal children on reserves, who receive significantly less social services than off-reserve kids.

And here’s the case that Harper’s lawyers didn’t want the Tribunal to hear: everyone is invited to be a witness, to decide for themselves if Aboriginal kids are being treated fairly.

Finally, here’s the Aboriginal advocate for the kids that Harper’s minions have been stalking.

The Harper government claims that it’s “unfair” to compare provincial social services to the federal services it is obliged to provide to on-reserve kids. The latter, of course, come under federal jurisdiction. That there is a substantial funding gap is beyond dispute: as reported, billions of dollars are at stake, indicating just how far behind Aboriginal kids have been left.

Harper has been fighting this case for years now, with procedural delay after procedural delay. His appointee as Chair of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, Shirish Chotalia, delayed the case for a year and a half and then ruled in favour of the government in a decision so biased that she was administered a serious spanking by Federal Court Judge Anne Mactavish, and went off on permanent leave.

As I noted at the time (April, 2012):

Mactavish pulls no judicial punches. Chotalia’s decision exhibited “a clear breach of procedural fairness” [191]; it “lacks the justification, transparency and intelligibility required of a reasonable decision” [221]; it is “unreasonable as it flies in the face of the scheme and purpose of the Act, and leads to patently absurd results that could not have been intended by Parliament” [251]; “the decision is clearly in error.” [384]

Mactavish ordered a new Tribunal hearing.

So it was convened, and began its work last month. But Harper hadn’t had enough, even after six years of obstruction, and appealed against the Mactavish ruling, hoping that the Federal Court of Appeal would shut down the new hearings. Just this week, he was slapped down yet again.

The hearings continue in April. APTN is covering them. Good luck, kids.

[H/t Cindy Blackstock]

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on March 12, 2013 8:14 PM.

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