'The hypocrisy must end': Online push to shame Trudeau over Indigenous issues grows
Helene Clarkson wants the PM to commit funding to Canada's Indigenous population, and hopes an online fundraiser — and a national ad — will change the conversation.
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A Toronto woman is hoping a little public shame will spur Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to fully fund services for Indigenous kids living on reserves.
Helene Clarkson launched a GoFundMe campaign in June hoping to raise $20,000 for a full page, national newspaper advertisement that would feature signatories demanding the government act.
“Here we are Canada 150 and we all talk about truth and reconciliation and yet the government continues to not do what it should be doing.”
The Canadian government has repeatedly lost a Human Rights Tribunal case challenging it to spend more money on health and social services for indigenous children on reserves, so they have the same access as people living off reserve.
Clarkson said in many respects, Trudeau has done well, but the government should have addressed this issue a long time ago, but has stalling.
“You can’t say you’re all for moving it forward and then put up roadblocks.”
Trudeau was asked about the issue during a press conference last month and said the government did not want to impose a solution.
“We are working with all communities across the country to help them deliver services, help them respond to the very pressing right now needs, but we cannot do that—if we want to be true about reconciliation—by telling those communities what it is they need,” the prime minister said.
Clarkson said she wants to run the advertisement nationally and have it feature signatures of those who donated to the campaign, as well as several prominent Canadians like the former commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Dr. Marie Wilson.
"The hypocrisy must end," Clarkson's GoFundMe page states. "Because it is 2017, it is time for full equity and fairness federal funding for child welfare, health care, education and ALL public services for First Nations children."
“The idea is to put it out there and hope that maybe we can shame them a little bit,” Clarkson said. “Maybe we can get more people talking about it and sharing it.”
She said she’d hoped the funds could have been raised before Canada Day, they’re currently at $4,170 of a $20,000 goal, but she believes the issue falls under the radar, in part because of systemic racism.
“If you treated white Canadian children this way, just imagine the uproar.”