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Quebec abandons the idea of ​​a commissioner dedicated to indigenous children

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press The new provisions put forward by Minister Lionel Carmant propose to erase the idea of ​​the associate commissioner assigned to indigenous issues. Instead, they offer the Commissioner for Children's Welfare and Rights to enter into “collaboration agreements” with all Indigenous communities that so desire.

Winning for the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (APNQL) and the Makkivik Corporation: to comply with their demands, Quebec is putting aside the idea of ​​appointing an associate commissioner for human rights indigenous children.

The Minister responsible for Social Services, Lionel Carmant, will confirm this decision this week by tabling an amendment during the detailed study of Bill 37 “on the commissioner for the well-being and rights of children”, which resumed after more than two months break. This information was reported earlier in the morning by Radio-Canada.

The establishment of an associate commissioner, dedicated specifically to the realities of First Nations and Inuit, had been the subject of strong criticism in the parliamentary committee in February.

“In [their] current form, the functions planned for […] this associate commissioner will limit themselves to assisting and advising the commissioner to whom they report,” noted the head of the AFNQL, Ghislain Picard. With the Makkivik Inuit organization, he deplored the lack of autonomy from which the latter would have benefited.

“It’s extremely trying,” said Mr. Picard, denouncing the “relentlessness” of the CAQ government “in debating that it is the only one able to exercise in this field of competence.”

The new provisions put forward by Mr. Carmant completely propose to erase the idea of ​​the associate commissioner assigned to indigenous issues. Rather, they offer the Commissioner for Children's Well-being and Rights to enter into “collaboration agreements” with all Aboriginal or Inuit communities that so desire.

These could make it possible to collect information from communities, to monitor deaths observed among First Nations and Inuit children, as will be done everywhere else in Quebec, or to “accompany” children who require specific resources.

Minister Carmant affirmed last month that the time passed since the commission took a break, at the end of February, from the study of bill 37, had made it possible to “co-construct” the mandate of the commissioner with the First Nations and the Inuit.

The CAQ elected official still intends to create a “deputy commissioner” to lend a hand to the national “ombudsman” he intends to appoint, but his mandate will not be limited to one category of children.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116