Dr. Cindy Blackstock speaks at the International Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect conference in Calgary, Alta. on Aug. 31, 2016. (Photo: Jeff McIntosh/CP)"I measure change at the level of children, not in what politicians say," Blackstock said after a speech Wednesday to the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect in Calgary. "You know this discrimination has gone through both political parties since Confederation and Canadians need to keep their eyes on the ground. Are things getting better for kids? "If they're not, keep pressing because these kids are worth the money." Blackstock told the conference the Canadian government has known how to help First Nations children for more than a century but never had the will to do anything about it.
Promises from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mean nothing until something is actually done, she said. "It hasn't been substantial and I think that's where we really need to watch it. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, in fact, felt Canada's progress was so slow that it issued a compliance order against the federal government for failing to implement the January order," Blackstock said. "That was done in April and we're waiting for another one to come down within the next couple of days." In the government's submission to tribunal earlier this year, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada said it had begun working with First Nations child welfare agencies to reform the system and eliminate any discrimination in levels of service.
"I measure change at the level of children, not in what politicians say."
— Dr. Cindy Blackstock
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