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August 26th, 2020

First Nations kids left behind by Liberal’s school safety plan

Timmins — The Liberal government continues to leave First Nations students behind by not providing enough funding to ensure their safety in today’s Safe Return to Class Fund announcement.

"On-reserve schools are already facing massive underfunding compared with provincial schools,” said NDP Indigenous Youth Critic, Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay). “When you add on the isolation, the high costs faced by communities, and the chronic lack of resources this announcement shows the government isn’t taking their legal responsibilities to deliver safe and effective education."

The two billion dollar program will help schools that are funded by the provinces. However, on-reserve schools that rely exclusively on federal funds are being asked to share 112 million dollars across the country. This is wholly inadequate and a number of First Nations schools are questioning whether they will even be able to open this fall.

Angus says the Trudeau government is carrying on a long and dismal tradition of failing First Nations students.

"The feds have been shortchanging First Nations kids since confederation. We are a week away from school opening and this government continues to fail Indigenous kids and show total indifference to the realities faced by First Nations schools."