• The Committee on the Administration of Bill 21 in Aboriginal Communities tables its report
Oct 27, 2016

Bill 21 (An Act to amend the Professional Code and other legislative provisions in the field of mental health and human relations), which was adopted in 2009 and came into force in 2012, has posed, since then, a further challenge to the health and social services organizations of the First Nations communities. This is particularly apparent in the areas of service takeover and staff recruitment and retention.

From June 2012 to June 2014, various meetings in which the FNQLHSSC participated were held with professional orders and the former Association des centres jeunesse du Québec. Based on the insistence of First Nations and Inuit organizations, the Committee on the Administration of Bill 21 in Aboriginal Communities was created. Having started its operations in February 2016 following a mandate that was entrusted by the Minister of Justice, Ms. Stéphanie Vallée, and the Minister responsible for Native Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Kelley, it tabled its report last September 30.

Jointly chaired by the Office des professions and the Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones, this Committee was composed of representatives from the following organizations and ministries: the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, the Ministère de l’Éducation, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, the Ordre des psychoéducateurs et psychoéducatrices du Québec, the Ordre des travailleurs sociaux et des thérapeutes conjugaux et familiaux du Québec, the FNQLHSSC, the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, the CLSC Naskapi and the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay.

The Committee was entrusted with the mandate to:

·       Document the issues raised by the implementation of Bill 21 and the underlying problem of the administration challenges within the Aboriginal communities;

·       Propose possible solutions that could enable the implementation of the principles targeted by Bill 21 by ensuring the protection of the public in line with the provisions provided by the legislation respecting the professions;

·       Submit a report and recommendations regarding possible solutions to the Minister of Justice and Minister responsible for the administration of legislation respecting the professions, and the Minister responsible for Native Affairs.[1]

The report details the many challenges arising from the difficulties associated with the recruitment or retention of First Nations and Inuit professional resources or those who have the cultural skills needed to provide quality services as well as the lack of access to services in general, particularly due to geographical remoteness and language barriers. It offers possible solutions and makes nine recommendations. The FNQLHSSC is awaiting the approval of the ministers in order to make the report public and to continue its work towards the implementation of the recommendations in collaboration with the Committee's partners.

For more information on the progress of the work, please contact Ms. Marie Noël Collin at marie‑noel.collin@cssspnql.com or at 418-842-1540, extension 2805.


Committee on the Administration of Bill 21 in Aboriginal Communities, Terms of reference, Quebec, January 18, 2016.