Saganash’s UNDRIP bill dominates discussion on Nation to Nation

UNDRIP bill passed second reading 217-76 with only the Conservative party voting against it.

There were plenty of congratulations going on around social media Wednesday night as Bill C-262 passed second reading.

It passed 217-76 with only the Conservative party voting against it.

It asks the federal government to fully adopt the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Conservative shadow minister of Indigenous affairs Cathy McLeod believes the bill is being rushed through Parliament. It started a debate between her and Indigenous Services Parliamentary Secretary Don Rusnak on N2N’s political panel.

“Saying that we’re rushing it through…” said Rusnak.

“Through Parliament, through Parliament,” interjected McLeod

“This is a final say on anything I think is misleading,” continued Rusnak. “There’s been a lot of work done. There is going to be a lot of work done. And it’s just necessary work that’s taking way too long.”

“I just want to quickly point in the Justice minister (Jody Wilson-Raybould) herself said over a year ago, this is unworkable in the context of Canadian law and it’s a distraction and she’s now supporting it. There’s been no discussion in terms of what’s changed, in terms of why she said what she said then. And why she said what she said now,” said McLeod.

It is a private member’s bill sponsored by NDP MP Romeo Saganash. Private member’s bills rarely become law.

It will have to go to committee to be studied, then a third reading, and, possibly finally on to the Senate before receiving Royal Assent by Governor General Julie Payette.

Leah Gazan is a lecturer in the faculty of education at the University of Winnipeg. She is an avid supporter of the proposed legislation but urges vigilance.

“Certainly, I think we will have to continue watching how particularly the Liberal government deals with it, having the majority of seats on committee,” said Gazen.

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