June 5th, 2019

Bill C-262 will be Discussed at the Senate Aboriginal People’s Committee Tonight

OTTAWA – Tonight at 6:45 p.m. EDT, the Senate Aboriginal People’s committee will sit in the Senate of Canada building to discuss NDP MP Romeo Saganash’s Bill C-262 that would ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The witnesses during the first hour will be Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Jennifer Preston, Senior Advisor for the Assembly of First Nations and Mary-Ellen Turpel-Lafond, Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre.

The second hour of the committee will be the clause-by-clause consideration and many supporters plan to be present such as Steven Kakfwi, former Premier of the Northwest Territories, and the youth from Indigenize the Senate.
Last week, phone lines in the Senate were overloaded by calls from people across the country in favour of C-262 pushing Conservative Senators to stop the delay tactics and pass this bill. Very little time is left before Parliament rises for the summer break before the election and Bill C-262 has been in the Senate for over a year now.

On April 10, the House of Commons passed a unanimous motion calling on the Senate to pass Bill C-262 into law at the earliest opportunity. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is either not in control of the Senators in his caucus, or he is directing them to block this bill while pretending to support this motion.

Yesterday in committee, Conservative Senator Scott Tannas said: “In fact, a small group of senators can make sure this bill never sees the light of day.”

This is wrong. A handful of unelected senators are proposing to veto Bill C-262 that passed through the House of Commons by elected Members of Parliament. A bill that will ensure that Canada respects the human rights of Indigenous Peoples, as articulated by Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations.

New Democrats encourage people to call the five senators or the Conservative Leader and urge them to work on passing Bill C-262 as soon as possible.