April 10, 2019
Senators of Canada
The Senate of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A4
BC Federation of Labour Calls for the Immediate Passing of Bill C-262
The B.C. Federation of Labour is calling on each Senator of Canada to pass 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, without delay.
Yesterday, Conservative Senators prevented Bill C-262 from being sent to Committee for review. This is an unconscionable move by Senate on a motion that passed with an overwhelming majority of 206 in favour in the House of Commons.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, in Call to Action #43, called upon the “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” (emphasis added). Bill C-262 was passed in the House of Commons on May 30, 2018, with an overwhelming majority of votes cast in support of the bill. Bill C-262 must not be stalled in the Senate.
With a looming federal election, there is a substantial and unacceptable risk that the bill may miss the legislative window. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the General Assembly in September 2007 after more than 20 years of discussions. Canada has delayed the implementation and recognition of the international human rights standards of Indigenous peoples for far too long.
We are calling on the Senate of Canada to immediately pass Bill C-262 and to begin the initial work of implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the most comprehensive, universal international human rights instrument explicitly addressing the economic, social, cultural, political, spiritual and environmental rights of Indigenous Peoples.
W. Laird Cronk
President, BC Federation of Labour
MP Romeo Saganash
Union of BC Indian Chiefs
First Nations Summit
BC Assembly of First Nations
National Chief Perry Bellegarde
National Assembly of First Nations