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Senate launches pre-study on UNDRIP bill

The Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples launches pre-study on Bill C-15.

A Senate committee is beginning its study of legislation to ensure Canada’s laws are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), even as the bill is still before the House of Commons.

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. “I look forward to hearing important perspectives from witnesses as the Senate begins its study of this key piece of legislation.”

  • Meeting schedule for the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples

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.

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.

Senate launches pre-study on UNDRIP bill