Minister Bennett lied about funding to Indigenous communities, says MP Charlie Angus
Last November, Liberal MPs voted unanimously to pass an NDP motion on child welfare that called for an immediate injection of $155 million to ensure the government complies with a ruling by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal that the federal government discriminates against Indigenous children.
The Current spoke to Canada's Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett, earlier this week to ask when the money will start flowing to the communities.
Benett's assertion that "money is already flowing" prompted a letter to The Current from the office of NDP MP Charlie Angus saying he was "gobsmacked at the suggestion."
When we're talking about the lives of children you just can't get away with alternative facts.- MP Charlie Angus
"What the minister is trying to do is throw some kind of crazy arithmetic together to pretend that money that they're claiming they're going to spend on medical — which they haven't spent at all — and their shortfall on child welfare somehow meets the parliamentary order," Angus tells The Current's Friday host Nora Young.
"When we're talking about the lives of children you just can't get away with alternative facts."
According to Angus, the government haven't fallen short on their promise, but rather "they haven't moved squat."
This is a government that is following the exact same pattern that the previous government did.- MP Charlie Angus
"Minister Bennett claimed that they've got $120 million this year for "Jordan's principle." Well as she was talking to The Current, her lawyers were in court fighting Cindy Blackstock and looking at the documents that the Minister's lawyers put in, they've only spent $11 million dollars out of that $120 million."
"I know 26 kids in the community of Wapekeka alone who are considered extremely high risk for suicide and they're having to rely on a private charity to get mental health services."
Angus tells Young he enormous respect for Minister Bennett but says, "I think she's been hung out to dry here."
"This is a government that is following the exact same pattern that the previous government did."
Listen to the full conversation at the top of this webpost.
This segment was produced by The Current's Samira Mohyeddin.