Report: Tories Divert Residential School Funds

Thursday, November 15, 2007 at 15:07



The Liberals say it is “completely unacceptable” that the Conservative government is reportedly removing millions of dollars from the Indian Residential School Settlement Trust to fund other government programs.


According to media reports, the Tory government is redirecting monies from the $1.9 billion Residential School Settlement Trust Fund to other programs, such as the Canada Summer Jobs program.


Liberal Indian Affaris Critic Anita Neville says the Tories received pressure from the Opposition to reinvest in the program after funding was slashed last September.


Neville says they did so, but at the expense of the Residential Schools Settlement — despite a huge surplus and numerous tax cuts in the government’s mini-budget.


She says Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl must be prepared to answer to the survivors.


On September 19, 80,000 survivors were eligible to apply for compensation through the Indian Residential Schools Settlement package.


The minister committed to payments within 35 days.


Neville says she has heard many reports that after six weeks, less than 10,000 survivors had received compensation.


She also says there appears to be a direct correlation between the redirection of the funds and the delay in the settlements.


Officials with the Conservative government weren’t immediately available for comment.