Members of Parliament,
I am writing to you on a matter of great concern to Canada’s Nurses – the issue of access to care for our most vulnerable and sick children.
On Tuesday, November 1, 2016, the House is scheduled to consider a motion calling on the government to comply with the historic ruling of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, ordering the end of discrimination against First Nations children. This means implementing Jordan’s Principle, a long-sought commitment that would mean at-risk children are provided the care they need.
On behalf of the almost 200,000 nurses represented by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU), I am asking you to pass this motion and to commit to actively address this critical issue.
I would remind you that there are children today being gravely impacted by the lack of action to address this issue. It has been over a decade since Jordan River Anderson died at the age of five, having spent his whole life confined to hospital because of a fight over responsibility for payments between federal and provincial governments.
Saving other children from facing the same fate because of jurisdictional and billing conflicts between federal and provincial governments was the goal of Motion 296 unanimously passed in the House of Commons on December 12, 2007. Since then, however, there has been little progress, and this fundamental discrimination is continuing.
As a member of parliament, it is your obligation to represent these children. I remind you that the Federal Court of Canada, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission have all strongly sanctioned governments for not dealing with this issue. Canada’s Nurses are calling on you to act. Not one more child should have to endure what Jordan River Anderson lived through because of government’s inaction.