Mr. Speaker, beginning in 1883 the social reformers in the government and the churches developed a system of residential schools across Canada for native children.
The common wisdom of the day was that these were necessary for resocializing native children to integrate them into non-aboriginal world. For some the experience was beneficial. For many it was painful and harmful. The Canadian Encyclopedia , page 2007, tells us that:
From the 1890s till the 1950s the government tried constantly to shift the burden of the schools onto the churches, whose members made donations, and the students, whose labour was a contribution.
Today's government is doing the same thing, attempting to place its responsibilities on the backs of the parishioners of the churches. Many of our churches face financial ruin by this callous action of the government.
I call on the Minister of Justice to acknowledge the responsibility of the government for these failed social policies and ask her to stop dragging the churches into the courts as third parties to evade her own responsibilities.