Jordan River Anderson was a First Nation child born with a rare neuromuscular disorder who required hospitalization from birth. The provincial and federal governments could not agree on who was financially responsible for Jordan's care in a medical foster home. Both governments were attempting to find a resolution; however, Jordan's condition deteriorated and he passed away in hospital before a resolution was reached.
On December 12, 2007, the House of Commons unanimously supported a Private Member's motion (M-296) stating that "the government should immediately adopt a child first principle, based on Jordan's Principle, to resolve jurisdictional disputes involving the care of First Nations children."
The federal response to Jordan's Principle is being implemented within the context of existing health and social programs. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and Health Canada have developed a response that focuses on:
- Cases involving a jurisdictional dispute between a provincial and federal government.
- First Nations children living on reserve (or ordinarily resident on reserve) who have been assessed by health and social service professionals and have been found to have multiple disabilities requiring services from multiple providers.
- Continuity of care: care for the child will continue even if there is a dispute about responsibility. The current service provider that is caring for the child will continue to pay for necessary services until there is a resolution.
- Services to the child that are comparable to the standard of care set by the province: a child living on reserve (or ordinarily resident on reserve) should receive the same level of care as a child with similar needs living off reserve in similar geographic locations.
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and Health Canada are working with provinces and First Nations to implement Jordan's Principle. Federal and provincial contacts and processes are in place in each province to address any cases that are brought forward. To date, all cases brought forward have been addressed through existing mechanisms with none progressing to a declared jurisdictional dispute.
If you believe you have encountered a potential Jordan’s Principle case and have not been able to resolve it at the community level, please contact your Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada Regional Office or Health Canada Regional Office
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