On November 28, the Aboriginal Law and Child and Youth Law sections of the OBA presented a program entitled: Legislative Spotlight: Bill C-92 and its impact on your practice. The program addressed the upcoming implementation of Bill C-92: An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families, which will come into force January 1, 2020. The presentation was chaired by Marvin Bernstein and Dr. Patricia Hania, and speakers included Sarah Clarke, Katherine Hensel, Judith Rae, Courtney Skye, and David Taylor, with closing remarks by Dr. Jeffrey J. Schiffer. The Act sets out to affirm the rights and jurisdiction of Indigenous peoples over child and family services and puts forth national principles on the provision of these services.
While many have commended the Act as a step in the right direction by the federal government, the panel made it clear that there is still much confusion regarding its implementation and a lack of funding to support the goals of the legislation. Without clarity in the regulations and meaningful funding, David Taylor noted, “Bill C-92 might become little more than another hollow promise for Indigenous children and at worst an instrument for perpetuating harm to another generation.”