Tabling of the cultural safety bill

 QUÉBEC CITY, QC, June 9, 2023 /CNW/ – Minister Responsible for Relations with the First Nations and the Inuit Ian Lafrenière has tabled in the National Assembly a draft legislation to adopt the cultural safety approach in the health and social services network (HSSN).

Bilateral consultation meetings with 14 Indigenous organizations that expressed their expectations and needs in the realm of cultural safety in the health and social services sector preceded the legislation’s drafting.

The Québec government thus intends to offer legislative recognition of the cultural safety approach and ensure the adoption by the public establishments in the HSSN of services geared to the cultural and historical realities of the members of the First Nations and the Inuit.

Moreover, the bill proposes an amendment to the Professional Code to enable Indigenous stakeholders who are not members of a professional order to perform in the Indigenous communities certain reserved professional activities related to youth protection services under certain conditions while ensuring the protection of the public. The objective is to promote the culturally safe nature of the services offered in the Indigenous communities while meeting challenges stemming from labour shortages.

“Cultural safety for the First Nations and the Inuit quickly became a priority when I took office. It hinges on the principle of social justice and reflects an equal-to-equal dynamic. Given the approach’s importance for the Indigenous peoples, which was included among the demands stemming from Joyce’s Principle, the government is demonstrating that it acknowledges its importance. It is my hope that we are starting today to build a relationship of trust between the First Nations, the Inuit, and the health and social services network throughout Québec.”

Ian Lafrenière, Minister Responsible for Relations with the First Nations and the Inuit

“By adapting care and services to Indigenous realities, our government is contributing to enhancing access to the services that health and social services institutions provide. The tabling of this bill follows on the investments announced by our government in the realm of cultural safety, since it is essential to provide the means to ensure that the First Nations and the Inuit benefit from equitable, discrimination-free services. We are acting accordingly today.”

Christian Dubé, Minister of Health

“I am delighted by the efforts of all the partners involved to reach an agreement for the benefit of the communities affected. It is crucial that, as legislators, we can adapt our legislation and regulations to Indigenous realities. I am indeed proud of the collaboration between all the orders concerned, which have clearly displayed receptiveness to find solutions that are better matched to the communities’ specific needs.”

Sonia Lebel, Chair of the Conseil du trésor


  • This bill responds to Calls for Action No. 74, No. 75, and No. 106 of the Inquiry Commission on Relations Between Indigenous Peoples and Certain Public Services in Québec: Listening, Reconciliation and Progress:
    • No. 74: “Amend the Act respecting health services and social services and the Act respecting health services and social services for Cree Native persons to enshrine the concept of cultural
      safeguards in it, in cooperation with Indigenous authorities.”
    • No. 75: “Encourage the health and social services network institutions to set up services and programs based on cultural safeguard principles developed for Indigenous peoples and in
      cooperation with them.”
    • No. 106: “Rapidly implement the recommendations of the Comité sur l’application du PL-21 in First Nations communities and Inuit villages.”
  • It also responds to other commissions of inquiry, including the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (NIMMIWG) and the Special Commission on the Rights of the Child and Youth Protection (the Laurent Commission).
  • The government has announced major investments to support cultural safety in the health network:
    • $15 million over five years to support the implementation of cultural safety in the health network;
    • $27.4 million over four years to enhance access to culturally reassuring frontline services for Indigenous populations in urban environments.
  • At the present time, the hiring of 19 liaison officers is under way in the health network, and 17 FTEs for service navigators.
  • To date, 90% of staff in the health network has received training in cultural safety.

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SOURCE Cabinet du ministre responsable des Relations avec les Premières Nations et les Inuit

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