To the editor,
Re: Conservatives choose to spend on lawyers rather than disabled Pictou Landing youth (The News, Jan. 17)
Recently, Liberal Party Member Carolyn Bennett wrote a partisan letter to play politics with the sensitive and very emotional case of Jeremy Meawasige of Pictou Landing that is currently before the courts.
In it she alleges that our government is spending money on lawyers and purposefully forsaking cases like Jeremy’s. This is completely false and intentionally misleading. The Liberal member has flagrantly misrepresented the federal government's financial support in this matter. In fact, our government continues to provide significant funding to Pictou Landing First Nation to assist Jeremy's family and meet his daily home care needs.
Even before the court ruling, the federal government has also been reimbursing the Pictou Landing First Nation for costs incurred in this case, in line with changes to provincial policy (that withdrew funding). We have also sought other information from the First Nation's counsel to reimburse other costs incurred by Jeremy and his family prior to the Court order.
I know that my colleague Bernard Valcourt, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, has made it a priority to work with First Nations and provincial, territorial partners, to build healthier, stronger First Nation families and communities. Naturally a vital component of this is improving the lives of First Nation children.
Our government believes that working in partnership with aboriginal peoples and communities to resolve problems yields the most positive outcomes. We continue to work with the Pictou Landing community to make financial contributions to the community and to ensure Jeremy and his family have the support they need.
I appreciate the opportunity to provide clarity on the issue.
Eve Adams, MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health