Evidence of meeting #109 for Indigenous and Northern Affairs in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was terms.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Keith Conn  Acting Assistant Deputy Minister, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
Robin Buckland  Executive Director, Office of Primary Health Care, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
Brenda Shestowsky  Senior Director, Social Policy and Programs Branch, Education and Social Development Programs and Partnerships Sector, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

3:55 p.m.

Acting Assistant Deputy Minister, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Keith Conn

We do not cover costs for relocation.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

I don't mean relocation, but if they were moved into, let's say, a home outside their community....

3:55 p.m.

Acting Assistant Deputy Minister, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Keith Conn

We would cover that under our medical transportation framework for costs of transportation.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Do you cover it at the same level, typically, across the country as the provinces and territories?

3:55 p.m.

Acting Assistant Deputy Minister, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Keith Conn

I couldn't answer that question clearly in terms of comparability with what the provinces and territories do. I didn't realize the provinces and territories paid for transportation.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

No, I wasn't talking about transportation, but the actual cost of living in a long-term care facility. It's however many hundred dollars a month.

3:55 p.m.

Acting Assistant Deputy Minister, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Keith Conn

Those rates and costs per bed would vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

But if the person cannot cover it themselves, does your branch cover the going rate in each province?

3:55 p.m.

Acting Assistant Deputy Minister, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Keith Conn

Brenda, can you take a stab at that?

3:55 p.m.

Senior Director, Social Policy and Programs Branch, Education and Social Development Programs and Partnerships Sector, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Brenda Shestowsky

Yes, I can jump in on that one.

If an on-reserve resident is moved or has to relocate to access a long-term care facility or chronic care facility off reserve, then yes, our program, the assisted living program, would cover the costs for the living expenses of the individual as well as the cost of care, except for specialized nursing and medical care. That is the cost that would be borne by the provincial government.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

I know that typically a good support for many is having an adult day program through which a number of people gather. Do you have many of those sorts of programs, or do the communities have those sorts of programs operating?

Again, if you can think of some good examples of communities that run a solid day program in their communities, it would be good to have names for possible witnesses.

3:55 p.m.

Senior Director, Social Policy and Programs Branch, Education and Social Development Programs and Partnerships Sector, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Brenda Shestowsky

We can certainly look to identify whether there are communities that run such programs. The participation of individuals at day care programs is certainly an eligible expense under the assisted living program. Whether it be on or off reserve, those individuals can access such programming.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

You talked about the $184 million new dollars. How is that money being distributed?

3:55 p.m.

Executive Director, Office of Primary Health Care, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Robin Buckland

As I mentioned, there's a different breakdown, over the next five years, in terms of those monies. A portion will be going to palliative care. Most of it will be going just to further enhancements in the home and community care program. The services I mentioned that we don't normally have the funds to cover, such as the allied health services, will be part of the additional investment.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Let's say you were Tk'emlups, which already has a program. Are they just looking at a certain jump to the base, and is that going to be consistent across the country as a jump to the base rate of what they're getting?

3:55 p.m.

Executive Director, Office of Primary Health Care, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Robin Buckland

Yes, exactly.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

What percentage does it work out to be?

3:55 p.m.

Executive Director, Office of Primary Health Care, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Robin Buckland

I don't have the percentage in front of me, but I think it's a significant investment. Our budget had been $90 million a year. The $185 million is an additional investment over five years. It's a significant investment that's going to be divided across communities.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

It might, then, be 5% by the time you split it into per-year...?

3:55 p.m.

Executive Director, Office of Primary Health Care, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal MaryAnn Mihychuk

The questioning now moves to MP Romeo Saganash.

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Romeo Saganash NDP Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Thank you, Madam Chair.

It's a great pleasure to be back to this committee, however briefly.

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal MaryAnn Mihychuk

We miss you already.

May 24th, 2018 / 3:55 p.m.

NDP

Romeo Saganash NDP Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Welcome to our guests this afternoon. There are a couple of questions I would like to ask you.

One thing you say in your presentation, at page 10, is:

Currently, the department of Indigenous Services Canada does not have the program authority to deliver long-term facility-based care services. The department recognizes that long-term care is a gap for First Nations on reserve.

I'm glad you recognized that, because many of us also have observed it over the years.

Given the fact that the percentage of population of indigenous people living on reserve who are over 65 is quickly growing—I think those are the words you used—to close that gap, is the department considering extending Jordan's principle to senior indigenous citizens?

4 p.m.

Executive Director, Office of Primary Health Care, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Robin Buckland

Thank you for that question.

Jordan's principle definitely applies to first nations children living on or off reserve. We've worked quite hard, as I'm sure you're aware, to increase access for children to services and to fill gaps when we see gaps.

For the time being, Jordan's principle applies to kids, but I think we can think of it in a similar way, in terms of there being a gap and our wanting to close the gap. We're working very hard to improve the outcomes, for example, for first nations seniors living on reserve, so that health outcomes are similar to those for other Canadians.

In my mind, Jordan's principle is a useful way of looking at it—let's look to fill the gaps and reduce the gaps—but Jordan's principle per se applies to kids. We are, however, definitely working hard to look at the issue and to figure out what the potential solutions could be so that we can close the gap.