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The House of Commons voted in favour of an NDP motion on Monday that asked the government to drop its court battles related to the Indigenous child welfare system, end its litigation with survivors of the St. Anne’s residential school, and speed up work on identifying and documenting unmarked graves at residential schools. But although the motion passed 271 to 0 with support from all parties, including many Liberal MPs, it’s a non-binding request on the government and Liberal cabinet ministers abstained on the vote. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not cast a vote. Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller has said the government is in court to settle jurisdictional disputes, not to fight against compensation for First Nations children. Government lawyers are scheduled to be in Federal Court next week on the cases at issue. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh announced the motion last week in the wake of news that ground-penetrating radar had identified what’s believed to be 215 children in unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. Singh said his motion was about reconciliation, but also a condemnation of government hypocrisy.

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