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Tell Senators Bill C-262 is a crucial tool for reconciliation

    Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - 03:33

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    Senator Murray Sinclair is a First Nations lawyer. He served as Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission between 2009 and 2015. © Blair Gable, Reuters

    Update: On April 9, delaying tactics by a handful of Conservative Senators disrupted a planned vote needed to move Bill C-262 to the next stage of consideration in the Senate. Amnesty has joined with Indigenous partners to emphasize that protection of human rights should not be undermined by partisan politics. It’s now more important than ever that we support the UN Declaration implementation bill. For more, see https://www.amnesty.ca/news/canada-conservative-senators-jeopardize-crucial-human-rights-legislation

     

    “The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 
    is the framework for reconciliation at all levels 
    and across all sectors of Canadian society.” 
    -    The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2015

    We are on the brink of a breakthrough to improve Canada’s treatment of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. But urgent action is needed to ensure that this historic opportunity isn’t lost. 

    Bill C-262 is a private members bill that sets out a clear legal framework for the federal government to make good on its promise to fully implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 

    Last year, Bill C-262 was passed by the House of Commons with the support of the overwhelming majority of Members of Parliament. But now that Bill C-262 is before the Senate, there are serious concerns that passage into law could be delayed by partisan stalling tactics. Critically, if Bill C-262 doesn’t come to a vote before the election, the opportunity to pass the Bill will be lost. Please urge all Senators to move ahead with the crucial work of reconciliation.

    Please send a letter or email immediately.

    * Start with Dear Senator and a sentence about yourself to make your message unique.
    * Express your support for Bill C-262 as a crucial tool for reconciliation. 
    * In your own words, state that the Bill provides a clear, collaborative framework for the federal government to make good on its promise to fully implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as called for by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
    * Call on the Senators to work together to ensure that Bill C-262 is brought to a vote in the current session of parliament.

    Write to

    Senator Peter Harder, Government Representative in the Senate 
    peter.harder@sen.parl.gc.ca

    Senator Yuen Pau Woo, Facilitator of the Independent Senators Group 
    yuenpau.woo@sen.parl.gc.ca

    Senator Joseph Day, Leader of the Liberal Caucus
    joseph.day@sen.parl.gc.ca

    Senator Larry Smith, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate
    larry.smith@sen.parl.gc.ca

    Mail may be sent postage-free to any senator at the following address:
    The Senate of Canada
    Ottawa  ON  K1A 0A4

    Please copy

    The Honourable Andrew Scheer
    Leader of the Official Opposition
    Email:        andrew.scheer@parl.gc.ca
    Phone:        613 992 4593
    Fax:        613 996 3120
    Twitter:    @AndrewScheer 
    Facebook:    andrewscheermp 
     

    Additional information

    Bill C-262 is about moving ahead with implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in a principled and coordinated way. It does not attempt to turn the UN Declaration into a piece of federal law. Instead, it would create a requirement for the federal government to work with Indigenous peoples to develop a national strategy for implementation. This would include review and reform of existing laws. Critically, the Bill would require regular reporting to Parliament on the progress that has been made.

    For more, see 
    -    Joint letter to Canadian Senators endorsed by Indigenous peoples’ organizations and human rights groups https://www.amnesty.ca/news/implementation-un-declaration-rights-indigenous-peoples-crucial-canada%E2%80%99s-commitments
    -    Myths and misrepresentations about the UN Declaration and Bill C-262 debunked
    https://quakerservice.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Myths-and-misrepresentations-June-2018-Declaration-Coalition.pdf

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    If you wish to receive updates on this case, email urgentaction@amnesty.ca. In the subject line, write “Keep me updated on Bill 262”.
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