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First Nations aid dwindling

Children’s aid societies helping First Nations children say they arestuck with the bulk of a $67 million province wide cash crunch alongwith communities in areas of the province hit hard by the economicdownturn.

Children’s aid societies helping First Nations children say they are stuck with the bulk of a $67 million province wide cash crunch along with communities in areas of the province hit hard by the economic downturn.

The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies, the group representing 53 provincial agencies, and the government are in a squabble over who will pay the bills to protect vulnerable children.

The societies say 49 of their agencies face a total shortfall of $67 million this year. The government says it increased payments to the societies by $30 million this year and have tripled support in the last decade to $1.4 billion.

Cash-strapped agencies will have difficulty responding to high-risk child abuse allegations within required timelines as staff will have to be cut at societies throughout Ontario if funding is not improved, they say.

Children and Youth Minister Laurel Broten agreed the problem is now acute because the province faces its own financial struggle with an $18.5 billion deficit.

 
 
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