Archived News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

September 5, 2008

Manitoba Reaches Agreement With Federal Government To Implement Jordan's Principle

The province has reached an agreement with the federal government to implement Jordan’s Principle in Manitoba so that First Nations children with multiple disabilities will continue to receive needed care without delays or disruptions resulting from jurisdictional disputes, Health Minister Theresa Oswald announced today.
“We want to move ahead quickly to ensure First Nations children with multiple disabilities on reserves have access to needed health and social services,” said Oswald. “The federal and provincial governments have agreed to a solution honouring Jordan’s Principle and putting the care of the child first.”
"Parents and children dealing with multiple disabilities have enough on their plates without having to worry about whether the services they need will be disrupted by disagreements between governments,” said federal health Minister Tony Clement. “The federal government is working with provinces to assist all parties involved in a First Nations child’s care to work collaboratively. We are pleased that our work with Manitoba is progressing.”
The Province of Manitoba and the federal government have agreed that First Nations children on reserves with multiple disabilities who access multiple service providers should receive the same level of service, in a culturally appropriate way, as children with similar needs living in similar geographic locations. 
The ministers said both governments will use individual case reviews to resolve most issues. While governments resolve any remaining issues, they will ensure services continue to be provided. Over the next several months, the governments will work together to formalize and finalize processes including a dispute resolution mechanism. In the interim, agreed-upon principles and processes will apply to ensure that another case like Jordan’s does not occur.
“I’m pleased for the sake of all children and families that Manitoba is the first province in Canada to move to implement Jordan’s Principle. This is a complex issue and there is more work to be done but progress has been made,” said Healthy Living Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross. “While that work continues, this agreement will help families who need these services get the care they need.”
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Manitoba, the first agreement of its kind between the federal government and a province, on Jordan’s Principle,” said federal Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl. “This agreement will ensure that the necessary care for First Nations children is not disrupted by a lack of clarity of jurisdictional responsibility.”
Jordan’s Principle is named for Jordan Anderson, a young First Nations boy who was born with severe disabilities. Jordan’s Principle puts the needs of children with multiple disabilities first and supports the principle that needed care not be delayed or disrupted by jurisdictional disputes.
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