NDP call for justice for St. Anne’s residential school survivors

New Democrats are joining survivors of the notorious St. Anne’s Residential School on James Bay and calling on the Conservative government to stop undermining their ability to receive justice.

For the last year, the Conservative government has been stonewalling the legal hearings for survivors by refusing to disclose what they knew about thousands of pages of police files relating to sexual and physical abuse at the residential school. This failure to disclose evidence has compromised the ability of survivors to obtain a fair hearing.

Under pressure from the New Democratic Party, Indian Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt was forced to refer the matter to the Ontario Superior Court.

MP Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) says that the government has an obligation to provide financial support for the legal teams of St. Anne’s survivors as they challenge the Federal government in Ontario court.

“The federal government had an obligation to disclose what they knew about a massive police investigation into abuse at St. Anne’s. They kept this information secret. Now that the matter has gone to the Ontario Court, they cannot continue to keep the survivors on the sidelines. The victims have a right to be heard in Court. They have a right to challenge this government’s failure to live up to their legal obligations.”

Angus is calling on Justice Minister Peter MacKay to instruct Justice Department lawyers to stop undermining the survivors and ensure that all relevant documents are made available.

“Minister MacKay is on a tour calling for justice for victims. What about the victims of horrific sexual and physical abuse that happened under the watch of the federal government? Will Minister MacKay meet with these victims? Will he stand up for their rights to have a fair hearing?”