McLeod on board with '60s Scoop agreement

By James Peters
October 6, 2017 - 12:27pm

KAMLOOPS — The Conservative Indigenous Affairs Critic says she hopes an agreement in principle with survivors of the '60s Scoop will pave the way for further reconciliation.

The agreement, announced by Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett this morning, includes $750 million in compensation for the government policy that removed children from First Nations families.

Cathy McLeod, the MP for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, says she supports the agreement, as it was a necessary response to a court ruling.

"I don't think money will ever make the difference," said McLeod. "It can't change the past. But I think the fact that money was awarded might help them a little bit, and it might also give them the sense of closure."

In February, an Ontario judge ruled Canada "failed to take reasonable steps to prevent thousands of on-reserve children who were placed with non-native families from losing their indigenous heritage."

That ruling launched a negotiation on damages between the federal government and the plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit.

"We had to do something in terms of the response to the court decision and in this case, the minister has my support," said McLeod.

"It's another piece of our history that's very troubling, like residential schools, and this is a step toward reconciliation."

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