The Honourable David Lametti
Minister of Justice and Attorney General
Dear Minister Lametti,
We are writing to urge your government to prioritize promised legislation to create a legal framework to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Both COVID-19 and the minority Parliament pose challenges to the quick introduction and passage of the proposed legislation. Public spotlights on systemic racism, along with the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on Indigenous communities, however, underline the urgency of measures to protect Indigenous human rights in law.
The human rights as affirmed in the UN Declaration “constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the Indigenous peoples of the world” (Article 43).
The TRC refers to the Declaration as a framework for reconciliation in both Call to Action 43 and 48. Legislative implementation of the Declaration will move Canada from noble words of apology and aspiration, to cooperation with Indigenous Peoples and affirm justiciability of Indigenous rights. This is critical element of our collective responsibility for reconciliation.
Bill C-262 was passed by the House of Commons in the last Parliament. The bill had the wide support of Indigenous communities, was the subject of extensive debate in a Parliamentary committee (including testimony from 71 witnesses). Bill C-262 must be the floor for legislation in this Parliament.
We also encourage you to work to ensure adequate and clear commitments to community-based implementation, both during the legislation creation process and once legislation is in place, in any co-development efforts focused on Indigenous support for the legislation.
We urge you to fulfill your commitments to reconciliation by tabling legislation this fall, using C-262 as the floor, and making every effort to bring this legislation to Royal Assent in advance of the next election.
Thank you for your hard work on behalf of all Canadians.
The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls
Primate, The Anglican Church of Canada
The Most Rev. Mark MacDonald
National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop, The Anglican Church of Canada
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Crown Indigenous Relations
The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services
The Honourable Rob Moore
Official Opposition Critic for Justice Conservative Party of Canada
Deputy Critic for Justice NDP
Critic for Justice NDP
Critic for Justice Bloc Quebecois
Official Opposition Critic for Crown-Indigenous Relations Conservative Party of Canada
Official Opposition Critic for Indigenous Services Conservative Party of Canada
Critic for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Indigenous Services NDP
Critic for Crown-Indigenous Relations Bloc Quebecois
Leader Green Party of Canada
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