Evidence of meeting #146 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 services.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Isa Gros-Louis  Director General, Child and Family Services Reform, Department of Indigenous Services Canada
Jean-François Tremblay  Deputy Minister, Department of Indigenous Services Canada
Joanne Wilkinson  Assistant Deputy Minister, Child and Family Services Reform, Department of Indigenous Services Canada
Laurie Sargent  Assistant Deputy Minister, Aboriginal Affairs Portfolio, Department of Justice
Chief Robert Bertrand  Congress of Aboriginal Peoples
Cindy Blackstock  Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada
Jennifer Cox  Barrister and Solicitor and Project Lead, Enhanced Child Family Initiative, Kwilmu'kw Maw-klusuaqn
Paul Morris  Lead Counsel, Mi'kmaw Family and Children's Services of Nova Scotia
Duane Smith  Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation

9:10 a.m.

NDP

Georgina Jolibois NDP Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

—“the deal with the province”. I don't understand—

9:10 a.m.

Liberal

Seamus O'Regan Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

—such as the ITK and the Métis National Council and the Assembly of First Nations have worked with us. We followed their lead.

9:10 a.m.

NDP

Georgina Jolibois NDP Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

With all due respect, I'm not disputing the support of those national agencies and the work they've done. I fully support the work they've done, but they don't have influence on the ground over when a child has the mom or the dad or the grandma or the grandpa or the aunts or the uncles or the cousins take care of them. I understand that concept, but I think the government is missing the point.

Yes, you are, because you don't know the realities on the ground.

9:10 a.m.

Liberal

Seamus O'Regan Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

I haven't said anything.

9:10 a.m.

NDP

Georgina Jolibois NDP Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

When you see the child, there's no funding available or attached for the mom to go to treatment, for the mom to apply for training, for the mom to want to work, or for the dad.

9:10 a.m.

Liberal

Seamus O'Regan Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

It is not—

9:10 a.m.

NDP

Georgina Jolibois NDP Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

There's no funding.

9:10 a.m.

Liberal

Seamus O'Regan Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Georgina, with all due respect—

9:10 a.m.

NDP

Georgina Jolibois NDP Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

No. With all due respect, you don't understand. Don't condescend. The reality on the ground—

9:10 a.m.

Liberal

Seamus O'Regan Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

I'm not condescending to you.

9:10 a.m.

NDP

Georgina Jolibois NDP Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Yes, you are. It's insulting.

9:10 a.m.

Liberal

Seamus O'Regan Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

I would wish that everybody at this table would stop condescending to them.

9:10 a.m.

NDP

Georgina Jolibois NDP Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

No. You're missing the point, because when I look at the ground—

9:10 a.m.

Liberal

Seamus O'Regan Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

No, I'm not missing the point. I'm not missing the point.

9:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal MaryAnn Mihychuk

I ask that we all use parliamentary language.

9:10 a.m.

NDP

Georgina Jolibois NDP Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Yes, you are.

9:10 a.m.

Liberal

Seamus O'Regan Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

The nations and the bands themselves will determine that on their own. They will determine it on their own—

9:10 a.m.

NDP

Georgina Jolibois NDP Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

So, when it comes to investments—

9:10 a.m.

Liberal

Seamus O'Regan Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

—separate from me, separate from you, separate from everyone at this table.

9:10 a.m.

NDP

Georgina Jolibois NDP Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

—to pay the family what they need, how can the government assist with that process?

9:10 a.m.

Liberal

Seamus O'Regan Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

That is exactly the point that we wish to be at should this bill pass.

9:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal MaryAnn Mihychuk

We've run out of time on this round for the opposition.

We're moving to the Liberal team.

I see that next we have MP Mike Bossio.

April 30th, 2019 / 9:10 a.m.

Liberal

Mike Bossio Liberal Hastings—Lennox and Addington, ON

I'll be sharing my time with MP Ouellette.

Last night I hosted an event. It was the screening of a documentary on an individual, Eddie Gough, who was an indigenous child taken from his family and raised by another family, and the trauma that this had on his life. Thankfully the journey took him back to his original family roots on Manitoulin Island, where he has reconnected with family and with his culture. Thankfully it's a happy ending to what has been too often a very tragic story for too many indigenous youth and children in this country.

Can you help us understand how this legislation, hopefully, is going to put an end to the Eddie Goughs of Canada so that they will grow up in their family settings, in their cultures, and with their language in the future?

9:10 a.m.

Liberal

Seamus O'Regan Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

I don't want to presume what that system will look like. I don't want to make any patronizing assumptions of how this will go.

What we agreed upon were three fairly good principles, the first, of course, being for the child. The rights of the child are first and foremost.

Secondly—and this is a very important point—the traditions, the culture and the language of an indigenous child are essential to their health.

Thirdly, when dealing with the system, the child and the family caring for that child should be dealt with always with dignity.

For those of you who have had fairly good treatment when you've dealt with hospitals, those may seem fairly basic things. They are not to a lot of people who will be affected by this legislation.

Each one of them needs time to work through it. Those who determine that they're ready and would like to take this on now, that they've waited long enough....

Last week I had dinner with a group of Cree women and elders just outside of Winnipeg who did not want to involve the province whatsoever. They said, “Let's get it done now.” We had to convince them that some work needed to be done.

The bottom line is this: They have a year to enter into negotiations with the federal government and provincial government to help them build their own child and family services. A lot of that is based on making sure that a kid has access to all the right things, to the things that they know, their extended family, that in the eyes of the law they are legitimized, not that they need it, but that they're there and that they're empowered, and that communities get to develop their own way of dealing with situations, with dealing with children in care.

9:15 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal MaryAnn Mihychuk

Thank you.

Questioning now is going to MP Robert-Falcon Ouellette.