Canada is on the brink of a breakthrough to protect the rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. But urgent action is needed to ensure that this historic opportunity isn’t lost.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada called the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples “the framework for reconciliation.” Last year, the House of Commons passed Bill C-262, a private members bill requiring the federal government to finally move ahead with the work of implementing the Declaration.
Good news: On May 16, the Senate voted to move the Bill to Committee for study. This is the next step on the path to a final vote. Public support for the Declaration and Bill C-262 is clearly having an effect. Thank you to everyone who has sent emails or made phone calls!
Unfortunately, however, passage of the Bill is still far from certain. Time is running out in this session of Parliament. And private members bills are particularly vulnerable to delaying tactics. If Bill C-262 isn’t passed by the Senate before this session of Parliament concludes, this crucial opportunity to advance the work of reconciliation will be lost.
Fortunately, political will to adopt Bill C-262 has been demonstrated across party lines. In fact, after Bill C-262 was stalled in the Senate in April, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer joined in a unanimous motion urging the Senate to pass the Bill into law. We are urging Andrew Scheer to continue exercising his leadership to help ensure the Bill is brought to a final vote.
3. Write a letter to the editor of your newspaper to spread the work about this opportunity to advance reconciliation
This action will be updated frequently as the deadline for passing Bill C-262 draws nearer.