Canada: Bill C-262 Must be Approved by the Senate Immediately | Letter

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June 6, 2019

Members of the Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples
The Senate of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A4
By email to all members of the committee

Dear Senators,

Bill C-262 must be approved by the Senate immediately

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) is deeply concerned by continuing procedural delays to prevent passage of Bill C-262, “An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

On 21 May 2019, LRWC urged “all members of the Senate to insist that deliberations on Bill C-262 continue and conclude immediately so that the Bill can return to Senate before the Bill dies on the order paper.” That entreaty has been ignored.

Action and inaction by unelected Senators to delay and ultimately prevent passage of Bill C-262 are particularly alarming following release of Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.  This powerful report concludes that the “human rights and Indigenous rights abuses and violations committed and condoned by the Canadian state represent genocide against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.” (p. 167)

One of the report’s first recommendations is the call on all levels of governments in Canada to “immediately and fully comply with all relevant instruments, including but not limited to the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” (emphasis added)  Defeat of Bill C-262, through Senate action and inaction will indefinitely postpone and therefore defeat this key recommendation.

Similarly comprehensive reports identifying and chronicling unlawful discriminatory abuse of and denial of rights and services for,—including food, water, housing, medical care and education–indigenous people in Canada, have been shelved without full implementation of the remedies recommended as necessary. Senate tactics to defeat Bill C-262 threaten the same fate for the report on missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.

LRWC urges immediate action to ensure passage of Bill C -262 without amendments.


Gail Davidson, Executive Director, LRWC

Copied to Senator Murray Sinclair, Senate Sponsor of Bill C-262, and all members of the Senate of Canada