valcourt-aboriginalaffairs_thumb-1.png
valcourt-aboriginalaffairs_thumb-1.png This article is more than 7 years old

VIDEO: Aboriginal Affairs Minister says youth suicides are parents’ problem, not his

He said WHAAT?!? Watch:

Who is responsible for preventing youth suicides on First Nations reserves?

According to Bernard Valcourt, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northen Development: not him.

Valcourt didn’t offer up a number (It’s “five to six times more often than non-Aboriginal youth”).

But he did tell Angus his question “shows a great misunderstanding” of “the responsibility of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.” (His department actually funds programs aimed at improving “life outcomes for First Nation children and families.” It also partners on the National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy, including supporting “healthy schools in First Nations communities.”)

“These children are first and foremost the responsibility of their parents throughout Canada,” Valcourt continued, before being interrupted by Angus, who can be heard saying “not your responsibility? You are a clown”:

Watch:

Thursday afternoon, Angus crticized Valcourt on Twitter for, as he put it, shrugging off the youth suicide crisis and blaming parents:

Valcourt’s response? Thursday night, APTN News reported the following response from the minister:

Valcourt said he did not check child welfare figures “every day” and repeated that the department has no obligation for child welfare beyond meeting policy requirements to fund the services.
 

“When the member talks about an obligation, I will remind the honourable member that this is a policy matter. This is a policy decision to reimburse provinces and to fund the agencies,” said Valcourt.

But that wasn’t the only thing Valcourt had to say on Wednesday night during a debate in the House of Commons.

When asked by Quebec MP Jonathan Genest-Jourdain what “is the leading cause” of “systemic violence against aboriginal women,” Valcourt replied: “in my experience, every time someone is murdered, a crime has been committed” — echoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s controversial statement that missing and murdered indigenous women is not a “sociological phenomenon.”

And when asked by fellow Quebec MP Romeo Saganash why he voted against his private member’s bill to have Canada recognize the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Valcourt replied it would go “against the Constitution of Canada.”

(FYI: this is coming from the same guy who voted for Bill C-51). 

Photo: Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.

PressProgress is powered by readers. Not by advertisers.

We’re not a corporate media outlet. We’re a small non-profit news organization that produces award-winning journalism with support from our readers.

If you see value in ad-free, non-profit journalism that holds powerful interests accountable, please consider making an investment in our work today.

 

Invest in Our Journalism
PressProgress
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2022-05-013 News

Doug Ford’s Budget Includes a Hidden $1.3 Billion ‘Decrease’ in Education Funding

Related Stories

News

Ministry of Colleges Shut Down Ontario PC Candidate’s Private College After It Ran Unaccredited Program

View the post
New

Ontario PC Candidate David Piccini Endorsed by Instagram Influencer With Ties to Hells Angels, Satan’s Choice

View the post
News

Anti-Union Lobby Group Has Received Millions of Dollars From Doug Ford’s Government Since 2021

View the post

Explainers

Human rights & inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Here’s The Problem With Hoping Corporations Will Be Socially and Environmentally Responsible On Their Own

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

The battle of the PACs in Calgary’s municipal election

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

27 Different Candidates are Vying to be Calgary’s Mayor. Here Are the Biggest Issues at Stake.

View the post
Why do newspapers always have a business section but not a labour section? We’ve launched a free newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.
Get All Your Canadian Labour News in One Place
Why do newspapers always have a business section but not a labour section? Good news! We’ve launched a newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.