I wanted to understand how a human rights case could have such a monumental impact in a country like Canada, while human rights actions taken here in Nepal result, four out of five times, in the Nepal Government ignoring the National Human Rights Commission.
$20 billion will compensate the families who were discriminated against and the balance will finance reform of the child welfare system
In 2016 the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found that the Government of Canada had discriminated against First Nations children in providing welfare services. The decision was upheld by the Federal Court of Canada and this year the government announced a $40 billion settlement with the organizations that launched the complaint in 2007. ($20 billion will compensate the families who were discriminated against and the balance will finance reform of the child welfare system).
As guest Anne Levesque notes, the government knew that it was discriminating against the First Nations kids, but cynically decided that doing so would be ‘cheaper’ than providing the required support. In its decision the tribunal called the government’s action “willful and reckless”. Even then, the government reacted by ignored the ruling or fighting it in court, until this year.
You can see why it was easy for me to be distracted from my plan for this episode and instead focus on the shocking details of the case. But in the end Anne and I do also discuss what it is that makes the human rights scenario in Nepal and Canada quite different.