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|Response to Parliamentary Committees|
|Government Response to the Sixth Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, “Sharing Canada’s Prosperity — A Hand Up, Not a Handout”
The Sixth Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, “Sharing Canada’s Prosperity — A Hand Up, Not a Handout” was tabled in the House of Commons on April 15, 2008.
The Report included the following recommendations: strengthen apprenticeship, literacy and numeracy programs targeting Aboriginal learners; establish a stand-alone economic development agency, including working with provincial and territorial governments; develop a new Aboriginal Natural Resources Economic Development Framework to support the transfer of knowledge and other capacity; settle land claim and treaty land entitlement agreements; establish a land and resource management agency; launch an adequately funded First Nations and Inuit infrastructure program; facilitate partnerships between Aboriginal people and industry, including implementing tax incentives to encourage such partnerships.
Government Response to the Eighth Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, “Safe Drinking Water for First Nations”
The Eighth Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, “Safe Drinking Water for First Nations” was tabled in the House of Commons on April 15, 2008.
The Report included recommendations that INAC improve the following elements: provide a professional audit of water system facilities, as well as independent needs assessment with First Nations representation; dedicate the necessary funds to provide for all identified needs of First Nations communities for the delivery of safe drinking water; undertake a comprehensive consultation process regarding legislation options including those set out in reports of the Expert Panel on Safe Drinking Water and the Assembly of First Nations.
|Response to the Auditor General (including to the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development)|
|Chapter 4: Child and Family Services (May, 2008).
The Report, tabled in the House of Commons in May 2008, stated that the funding INAC provides to First Nations child welfare agencies for operating child welfare services is not based on the actual cost of delivering those services. It is based on a funding formula that the Department applies nationwide. The formula dates from 1988. It has not been changed to reflect variations in legislation and in child welfare services from province to province, or the actual number of children in care. The use of the formula has led to inequities. Under a new formula the Department has developed to take into account current legislation in Alberta, funding to First Nations agencies in that province for the operations and prevention components of child welfare services will have increased by 74 percent when the formula is fully implemented in 2010.
In addition, the report found that the Department has not defined key policy requirements related to comparability and cultural appropriateness of services and has insufficient assurance that the services provided by First Nations agencies to children on reserves are meeting provincial legislation and standards.
Finally the report outlined that INAC has not identified and collected the kind of information it would need to determine whether the program that supports child welfare services on reserves is achieving positive outcomes for children. The information the Department collects is mostly for program budgeting purposes.
As a result of the findings in the report, the OAG provided ten recommendations to the Department. INAC accepted all recommendations and has since completed an action plan that was approved at the Department’s March Audit Committee and since provided to the OAG.
Chapter 3: Health and Safety in Federal Office Buildings (May, 2009)
The Report, tabled in the House of Commons in May 2009, was a horizontal audit including several Departments. The reported stated that the Departments should ensure that fire safety plans are prepared and administered in accordance with established federal legislation and Treasury Board policies and standards. It also outlined that the Departments should ensure that all evacuation drills are held and should ensure that building fire emergency organizations are established and administered as required by federal legislation and Treasury Board policies and standards.
Each Department responded separately to the three recommendations made in the report. INAC accepted all the recommendations and is currently in the process of implementing them.
Chapter 4: Treaty Land Entitlement Obligations (May 2009)
The Report, tabled in the House of Commons in May 2009, stated that the Department should develop and implement an action plan that sets out how it plans to convert lands to reserve status. In the plan, the Department should clearly identify its next steps, responsibilities, and timelines for actions for each land selection that is to be converted to reserve status. Specifically, the action plan should include details on the Department’s commitment to help First Nations resolve third-party interests, the way data integrity issues will be resolved, and the Department’s plan for developing a consistent file structure to better monitor the status of treaty land entitlement selections.
The Department accepted the recommendation and has since completed the action plan, had it approved at the June Audit Committee, and is in the process of implementing the plan.
Chapter 1: Gender-Based Analysis (May, 2009)
The Report, tabled in the House of Commons in May 2009, outlined the Department as a leader in the realm of Gender Based Analysis. No recommendations were made to the Department.
Chapter 5: Annual Report on Environmental Petitions (May, 2009)
The Report, tabled in the House of Commons in May 2009, outlined a number of issues surrounding the environmental petitions process. No recommendations were made to the Department.
(Note: These refer to other external audits conducted by the Public Service Commission of Canada or the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages)
|No reports were held during the period.|