APTN National News
OTTAWA–The UN special rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous peoples is scheduled to hold a press conference in Ottawa the day before the Harper government delivers its Throne Speech setting the agenda for the next parliamentary session.
James Anaya is scheduled to appear on Oct. 15 at the National Press Theatre at the conclusion of his 9 day tour of Canada that will take him across the country from Ottawa to Vancouver, according an itinerary of his visit posted on the rapporteur’s website.
Gov. Gen. David Johnston is scheduled to deliver the Harper government’s Throne Speech which is expected re-announce Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s commitment to have legislation governing First Nations education in place by next September.
The passing of the First Nations Education Act into law is being described as one of Harper’s primary goals on the First Nation file. The proposed legislation is already facing resistance from First Nations leaders across the country.
Anaya, who begins his tour next Monday, is scheduled to remain in Ontario for two days before heading to Quebec on Oct. 9.
He is then scheduled to be in Vancouver the next day, Edmonton the day after and Winnipeg on Oct. 12. Anaya will then visit Saskatchewan before returning to Ontario on Oct. 14.
Anaya had been requesting permission to visit since February 2012. He wrote the Harper government at least three times requesting he be allowed in on an official visit.
Special rapporteurs that hold mandates from the UN Human Rights Council can’t enter countries without official consent.
Anaya said in a March 2013 letter to the Union of BC Indian Chiefs that he was also considering finding unofficial channels to meet with Indigenous people in Canada if Ottawa continued to ignore his requests.