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Pass Bill C-262

Letter to all Senators of Canada
Requesting Canada’s Senate to pass Bill C-262 immediately

See the follow-up letter 21 May 2019.
Also see a supplementary letter sent to all members of the Senate Caucus of the Conservative Party of Canada.

23 April 2019

Senators of Canada
The Senate of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A4
by email to all senators according to the list at https://www.peacemakers.ca/research/Canada/SenateCanadaFeb2019.docx.

Dear Senators,

Requesting Canada’s Senate to pass Bill C-262 immediately

On 30 May 2018, the House of Commons passed private member’s 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 which Canada endorsed in 2010. Bill C-262 was passed with a vote of 206 to 79 and is now in Second Reading in the Senate.

We understand that Bill C-262 will die on the Senate floor if it is not passed before Parliament is dissolved prior to the upcoming October 2019 election. This would thwart the will of the House of Commons and seriously hinder progress towards genuine reconciliation and respect for the rights of Indigenous Peoples that Canada has endorsed.

Bill C-262 serves as partial fulfilment of the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Call to Action 43 called upon “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.”

Concerns have been expressed by cabinet Ministers, Senators, Indigenous Chiefs and leaders, human rights organizations, churches and other civil society groups that certain Senators have been using procedural tactics to delay the Senate’s consideration of Bill C-262. We note the unanimous House of Commons resolution on 10 April 2019 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 11 April 2019 Senator Donald Plett, leader of the Senate’s Conservative caucus, stated that there is “nothing being done to obstruct this bill...” and that a timeline to move the bill into the Senate committee stage will be discussed after the Easter break.”

We trust that Bill C-262 will now move into the Committee stage without any further delay. We urge all members of the appointed Senate to fulfill the will of the elected Members of the House of Commons by ensuring the adoption of Bill C-262 before Parliament rises for the summer break.

Sincerely,

[signed]

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

photo copyright Mats Flemstrom
photo © MF

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