Advocates working with Black and Indigenous communities say a proposal to make unvaccinated adults pay a financial penalty risks further entrenching inequities in Canada's pandemic response, and adding another burden to those who are marginalized.
The high uptake of COVID-19 vaccines in Indigenous communities might show a level of trust in the government but it remains "thin," Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said Thursday as he outlined next steps to tackling racism in health care.
The call to action, known as Joyce’s Principle, aims to ensure that Indigenous people have equal access to "the highest standard" of government-run health services. First Nations have for years complained about discrimination in hospitals and other institutions.
The idea is simple, says Jennifer Brazeau, executive director of the Native Friendship Centre in Quebec’s Lanaudiere region: provide “a culturally secure space” where Indigenous people can get health care without feeling afraid.