Bill C-262: Senate Visit and Continued Action
On March 19 and 20, representatives of the United, Presbyterian, and Anglican churches, Canadian Friends Service Committee and Mennonite Central Committee Canada visited with Canadian senators to discuss the urgent need to pass Bill C-262 (The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act) on a non-partisan basis. Leaders were encouraged by support for the bill from non-aligned and Independent Senators. There is a clear sense among many that this bill could help provide clarity and an orderly process to develop a new relationship based on the principles of mutuality, equity, and respect—those longed-for ideals of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples that have yet to come to fruition. Others expressed the need to learn more about the bill before making a decision about support, or expressed concern that the Declaration’s inclusion of free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) constitutes a de facto Indigenous veto on development projects.