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UNDRIP legislation introduced in the Senate

A pre-study on Bill C-15 is already underway at a Senate committee.

Legislation to ensure Canada’s laws are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has arrived in the Senate.

Bill C-15 serves as a framework for reconciliation and advances Call to Action 43 and 44 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“This legislation offers a path forward for real reconciliation and promotes the self-determination of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people,” said Senator Patti LaBoucane-Benson, who is sponsoring the bill in the Senate.

The Senate began its study of the legislation at the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, even as it was still before the House of Commons. So far, the committee has heard perspectives from dozens of witnesses, including Indigenous leaders and rights holders, academics and legal experts, as well as federal ministers.

Known as a pre-study, the procedure allows the subject matter of a bill to be referred to a Senate committee for review before the legislation arrives in the Senate – giving Senators the opportunity to get a head start on examining the principle and policy of the legislation. The bill must still go through three readings in the Senate once it arrives.

Second reading of Bill C-15 is expected to begin this week.

The Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples studied a previous iteration of the legislation last Parliament. Bill C-262, a private member’s bill introduced by former NDP MP Romeo Saganash, was at third reading stage in the Senate when Parliament dissolved for the 2019 federal election campaign. During the campaign, the Liberal Party committed in its platform to introduce a Government bill to implement UNDRIP.

UNDRIP legislation introduced in the Senate