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Huge Health Canada branch could be moved to new ministry, unions blindsided

By Peter Mazereeuw      

The feds didn’t consult with unions, or some of their own top bureaucrats, before suggesting they could move Indigenous health out from under the health minister, says union rep Todd Panas. Indigenous health makes up nearly three-quarters of Health Canada’s total budget.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Aug. 28 he would be revamping the way services were delivered to Indigenous peoples, including by splitting up the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Department into two new ministries: one devoted to Indigenous services and led by Jane Philpott, second from right, and another devoted to Crown-Indigenous relations, led by Carolyn Bennett, left. Ginette Petitpas Taylor, centre, will take over responsibility for Health Canada, but Ms. Philpott could take a big part of its budget with her as she moves from that role to her new one. The Hill Times file photograph

Unions representing most of the employees in Health Canada’s Indigenous services branch have lambasted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government for announcing that the branch would be moved under the jurisdiction of a new minister and likely a new department without consulting them ahead of time.

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