By Western Standard

January 4, 2021

-Western Standard


An increase in legal claims has upped the federal budget by more than 50% in the last four years, says the Treasury Board.

According to Blacklock’s Reporter, anticipated costs were mainly related to indigenous settlements and do not include a $40 billion payout to be detailed Tuesday.

“Between 2017 and 2020 contingent liabilities increased by $8.4 billion or 51%,” the Treasury Board wrote in a submission to the Senate national finance committee.

“Most of this increase was related to indigenous claims with only a small portion attributable to the rest of the government.”

“Over the years noted, new and settled class actions have contributed to fluctuations,” wrote staff, adding: “Many of these have been indigenous related. However, there has also been an increase in class actions within the government pertaining to harassment and discrimination.”

In a December hearing, Quebec Senator Tony Loffreda called the growing budget “substantial,” adding, “That’s significant dollars.”

“My concern is the 50% increase,” said Loffreda.

“If we continue on this trend, where will we be going with the contingent liabilities?”

“Obviously there are more and more cases,” replied Roch Huppé, comptroller general.

“As some of these cases work through the legal system, we have more information.”

On Tuesday, cabinet is expected to review a $40 billion claim by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society — one of the costliest legal settlements in Canadian history.

Complaints of discrimination in funding for First Nations child welfare programs dating back to the creation of the 1965 Child Welfare Agreement were upheld by both the federal court and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

“We’re not done,” said Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller to reporters.

“We reflect on 30 years of failure and discrimination towards indigenous children and the child welfare system, denials of service. This is 30 years of the cost of failure and that cost is high.”