Kugler Kandestin helps Indigenous youth in Quebec bring a class action against governments of Canada and Quebec over youth protection services and other essential services
Kugler Kandestin, Sotos LLP and Coupal Chauvelot, S.A. have filed a re-modified application for authorization to institute a class action in the Superior Court of Québec on behalf of Inuit youth in Nunavik, and Indigenous youth living off-reserve in Quebec, as well as the caregiving parents and grandparents of those youth, who have suffered from the federal and provincial governments’ discriminatory and deficient youth protection services, or who did not receive other essential services when needed.
The hearing on the authorization of this class action took place on September 25 and 26, 2023 at the Superior Court of Quebec in Montreal. The matter is currently under advisement.
The proposed class action seeks to represent and provide access to justice to:
- All Inuit children in Nunavik who were removed from their homes while they were under the age of 18, since November 11, 1975;
- All Inuit children in Nunavik who were denied prompt access to an essential service, since November 11, 1975;
- All off-reserve Indigenous children in Quebec who were removed from their homes while they were under the age of 18, since 1992; and
- The caregiving parents and grandparents of those children.
The class action seeks damages for two types of claims:
- Child Services: It is alleged that Canada and Quebec (1) did not adequately fund child services for indigenous children; (2) implemented funding structures and policies that prioritized removing Indigenous children from their homes instead of providing Indigenous parents with services to care for their children at home; (3) failed to consider placing Indigenous children in customary care; and (4) placed Indigenous youth in culturally and physically unsafe settings, in which the children had limited to no access to their families, communities, cultures, or languages.
- Essential Services: Second, it alleges that the governments of Canada and Quebec failed to provide or was delayed in providing health and social services and products because of the governments’ refusal to recognize and/or properly apply Jordan’s Principle/Inuit Child First Initiative.
Jordan’s Principle/Inuit Child First Initiative are legal principles which require the government to pay for and deliver health and social services to First Nations and Inuit youth on a level substantively equal to non-Indigenous youth. These principles also provide that the government cannot deny or delay these services and/or products on the grounds that it is the responsibility of another level of government or department.
To inform you of your rights, we encourage you to speak with one of the lawyers if you or someone you know is an Inuit youth in Nunavik, an Indigenous youth living off-reserve in Quebec, or the caregiving parent or grandparent of that youth and:
- Has been denied or delayed receipt of health and social services or products from the government; or
- Has been reported to Youth Protection.
Your communications with us are free and will be kept strictly confidential.
We will continue to update this page as the case progresses.
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