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Pass Bill C-262

Letter to the Senate of Canada's Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples
Requesting prompt, positive deliberation on Bill C-262 towards immediate passage by the Senate


21 May 2019

Members of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples
The Senate of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A4
by email to senators according to the list at https://www.peacemakers.ca/publications/SenateCanadaFeb2019-Senate%20Committee%20Aboriginal.docx.)

Dear Members of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples,

Requesting prompt, positive deliberation on Bill C-262 towards immediate passage by the Senate

This is further to our letter of 23 April 2019 seeking immediate passage of Bill C-262, “An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” Bill C-262 was passed by the House of Commons on 30 May 2018 with a vote of 206 to 79. After a lengthy delay in the Senate, the House of Commons passed a unanimous resolution on 10 April 2019 stating that Bill C-262 has “been in possession of honourable Senators for many months…[and] should be passed into law at the earliest opportunity; and that a message be sent to the Senate to acquaint that House accordingly.”

We note that on 16 May 2019, more than a month after the House of Commons resolution, Bill C-262 has now moved to the Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples for deliberation. We call on all members of the Committee to cooperate in expediting deliberations on Bill C-262. We also urge the Committee to ensure that the Bill continues to uphold and append the full text of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Declaration) as adopted in 2007 by the UN General Assembly and endorsed by Canada in 2010, including the Declaration’s assurances of “free prior and informed consent” by Indigenous Peoples as stipulated in Articles 10, 11, 19, 28, and 29.

Failure to pass Bill C-262 before Parliament is dissolved will thwart the will of the elected House of Commons and seriously hinder progress towards genuine reconciliation and respect for the rights of Indigenous Peoples as set out in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action. Call to Action 43 calls on “federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the framework for reconciliation.”

We call upon all members of the Senate to ensure adoption of Bill C-262 before Parliament rises for the summer break.

Sincerely,

[signed]

Catherine Morris, BA, JD, LLM
Director, Peacemakers Trust

Copied by email to Senator Murray Sinclair, Senate sponsor of Bill C-262, and to members of the Senate according to the list at https://www.peacemakers.ca/research/Canada/SenateCanadaFeb2019.docx.

photo copyright Mats Flemstrom
photo © MF

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