APTN National News
The federal government has been ordered to provide police documents detailing abuse at the former St. Anne’s Residential School to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Ontario Justice Paul Perell ordered the feds Tuesday to give over the documents to the TRC.
“Canada has too narrowly interpreted its disclosure obligations…[T]here has been non-compliance [with the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, IRSSA], and Canada can and must do more in producing documents about the events at St. Anne’s,” wrote Perell in his decision.
The documents stem from a five-year Ontario Provincial Police investigation between 1992-1997 into sexual and physical abuse at St. Anne’s in Fort Albany, Ont.
The police investigation resulted in criminal convictions.
It’s the second time in a year the federal government has been forced to produce documents to the TRC.
Last January, a judge ordered more documents to be given to the TRC after the feds refused and fought it in court.
“It is troubling that we have had to go to court twice now in under a year to get Canada to honour its obligation to produce all relevant documents,” said TRC lawyer Julian Falconer. “In my view, this is proof positive that Canada just doesn’t get it. There is a real risk that the government’s reliance on legal technicalities to avoid doing the right thing will undermine the apology given so solemnly by the prime minister on behalf of Canadians five years ago.”
The TRC is an independent commission with a mandate to document the history of the 130-year residential schools where thousands of Aboriginal children died and were abused after being taken from their homes and put in church-run, state-paid, schools.