The Canadian Press
British Columbia’s Green caucus says legislation promising a new relationship between the province and First Nations has passed unanimously in a “historic” moment.
The bill mandates the provincial government to bring its policies and laws into harmony with the aims of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Green member of the legislature Adam Olsen, from the Tsartlip First Nation, says the passage late Tuesday marks a significant milestone on the path to reconciliation.
B.C. is the first jurisdiction in Canada to begin implementing the UN declaration and some Indigenous leaders expressed fears earlier Tuesday that the bill could die on the order paper.
The First Nations Leadership Council said the bill appeared stalled in committee by continued Liberal questions and could expire when the sitting ends on Thursday.
However, the Green caucus says the Liberals participated in the unanimous vote in favour of the bill in the legislature.
“Social justice and respect of diversity are more than core principles for the B.C. Greens, they are values that every British Columbian can embrace,” says Green Leader Andrew Weaver in a statement. “And, today, MLAs stood united in support of those core values.”
Weaver says the passage of the bill was a foundational piece of the Greens’ confidence and supply agreement to support a NDP minority government.