Residential Schools Claims - Taxpayers should watch their wallets

Author: Tanis Fiss 2002/12/19

VICTORIA: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation's (CTF) Centre for Aboriginal Policy Change (the Centre) reacted today to the federal governments unveiling of the Resolution Framework to resolve Indian residential schools claims.

"The resolution framework for residential schools claims will permit the settlement of legitimate claims outside of the courts, saving taxpayers money," stated Tanis Fiss, the Centre's director.

"However, the new framework isn't cheap. The process is estimated to cost $1.7 billion over 7 years," continued Fiss.

Operational costs to implement the resolution process are estimated to cost $735 million. "Given the federal government's recent $1-billion gun registry boondoggle, taxpayers should watch their wallets," added Fiss.

The primary focus of the resolution framework is to resolve claims of physical and sexual abuse. "It is important this alternate dispute resolution process does not expand beyond legally actionable claims to include language and cultural claims. The Department of Canadian Heritage and Department of Indian Affairs already spend $30 million each year on programs and projects designed to support aboriginal language and culture. Yesterday the federal government committed another $172 million over 10 years for aboriginal language and culture," said Fiss.