Apr. 13, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Robert Stanton will be the province's representative in tripartite negotiations with the Government of Canada and New Brunswick's First Nations to develop an agreement on Jordan's Principle, Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock announced today.
"Robert Stanton brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and understanding of New Brunswick's First Nations to this position," said Lamrock. "We are pleased he will lead the province in negotiating an agreement that will ensure the needs of First Nations children are addressed."
The goal of the tripartite negotiations is to outline an agreement with a child-first principle ensuring that necessary public services for a First Nations child are not delayed or disrupted by a jurisdictional dispute. It proposes that the agency first contacted pay for services and seek reimbursement after.
Stanton's work will be overseen by a provincial liaison group composed of representatives of relevant provincial government departments.
"The provincial government is very keen to be working with our First Nations communities to collectively develop an agreement on Jordan's principle," said Human Resources Minister Rick Brewer, who is also minister responsible for the Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat. "Robert Stanton's knowledge of First Nations issues and his recent appointment as ambassador to the Bilateral Process makes him an exceptional candidate to negotiate on behalf of the province."
Development of this agreement would fulfil a recommendation from the Ombudsman and Child and Youth Advocate's Hand-in-Hand: A Review of First Nations Child Welfare in New Brunswick. The report recommended sweeping changes to the child welfare system on First Nations, including formal recognition of Jordan's Principle.
Jordan's Principle is named for Jordan River Anderson, a young boy from Manitoba's Norway House Cree Nation, who was born with a rare neuromuscular disorder and required specialized care. He became the centre of a jurisdictional funding dispute that prevented him from leaving the hospital to receive care in his family home.
Stanton holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Thomas University and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of New Brunswick. Prior to his appointment as negotiator, Stanton worked as the associate director and manager of the Crown Lands Branch and also served as senior policy adviser on Aboriginal issues at the Department of Natural Resources.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Tracey Burkhardt, communications, Department of Social Development, 506-444-2416; Ryan Francis, communications, Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat, 506-444-4194.