NDP Praised By AFN Over Health Care Motion

Friday, May 18, 2007 at 14:54



Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine is applauding the NDP’s Aboriginal Affairs critic for introducing a private member’s motion related to jurisdictional gaps in the health system.


Jean Crowder’s motion calls upon the federal government to immediately adopt a Child-First principle, based on Jordan’s Principle, for services directed at First Nations children.


Jordan’s Principle is named after a four-year old First Nations boy who spent his entire life, and eventually died, in a hospital because no federal or provincial government would take responsibility for his care at home.


Fontaine notes Crowder’s motion essentially asks two questions: “Do Canadians accept the fact that their health care system treats certain children differently because of the race or community they belong to? And further, do Canadians accept that this double standard can result in death or disability?”


Under the proposed principle, when a jurisdictional dispute arises between government parties or between two departments of the same government regarding payment for services for a Status Indian child, the government or department of first contact must pay for the services without delay or disruption.


A dispute resolution mechanism would then be called into action as needed.