From the Winnipeg Free Press–It’s one of those promises that doesn’t cost the government too much, but never seems to materialize on budget day.
Children and youth advocates are hoping that changes this week and the Liberals make good on a 2015 campaign pledge to create a children’s commissioner.
Groups including Children First Canada and UNICEF have asked for $8-million in annual funding for the watchdog that would monitor and report on how well the federal government is meeting its obligations to children under international law and domestic promises.
A federal ombudsperson would also monitor issues beyond the reach of provincial commissioners, such as the impact from marriage, divorce and criminal laws, as well as federal obligations to Indigenous children.
Sara Austin, founder and CEO of Children First Canada, said there has been support from parties, including the current government.
She said the pandemic and its impact on children in the short- and long-term makes a strong case for why the Liberals should finally follow through on the almost seven-year-old spending pledge.
“There is support at the highest levels of our current government for it, but I guess the question is, is this the government’s priority right now?” Austin said.