United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act

An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

This bill was last introduced in the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in August 2021.

Sponsor

David Lametti  Liberal

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment provides that the Government of Canada must take all measures necessary to ensure that the laws of Canada are consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and must prepare and implement an action plan to achieve the objectives of the Declaration.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

May 25, 2021 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-15, An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
May 14, 2021 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-15, An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
April 19, 2021 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-15, An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
April 15, 2021 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-15, An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Bill C-15—Time Allocation MotionUnited Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ActGovernment Orders

May 14th, 2021 / 10:05 a.m.
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Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mona Fortier LiberalMinister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance

moved:

That, in relation to Bill C-15, An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, not more than one further sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration of the third reading stage of the bill; and

That, 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on the day allotted to the consideration of the third reading stage of the said bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.

Bill C-15—Time Allocation MotionUnited Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ActGovernment Orders

May 14th, 2021 / 10:05 a.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, we are sorry to see the government shutting down debate yet again. I want to ask a specific question about the legislation, though.

Right now in Canadian law, we have a duty to consult around the development of resource projects. The government has said that this legislation does not create a veto for all communities that may be affected. The existing law has duty to consult, and the Liberals are saying it is not a veto. FPIC, the doctrine of free, prior and informed consent, is ostensibly somewhere in between these two extremes, according to the government, but there is still a lot of clarity required. What does “free, prior and informed consent” mean if it is not a duty to consult and it is not a veto?

What precisely is meant in the context of this legislation by “free, prior and informed consent” if it is something more than the duty to consult, but something less than a veto?

Bill C-15—Time Allocation MotionUnited Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ActGovernment Orders

May 14th, 2021 / 10:05 a.m.
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LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalMinister of Justice

Madam Speaker, the hon. member has asked this question a number of times, and I will give what I believe is the same clear answer that I have given a number of times before.

FPIC is a process. FPIC is about meaningful consultation, discussion and dialogue with indigenous peoples affected by a particular decision, say a resource development project, that they be at the table from the beginning. Yes, there is a duty to consult under Canadian law. That has had further refinement and guidance from the Federal Court of Appeal in the Trans Mountain process. We, as a government, were taken to task for not having meaningfully consulted the first time through, and we got it right the second time through.

FPIC is a process. It is going to continue to be a process. It will be contextual, so there is no way to precisely define it at the outset, and there is no way it should be precisely defined at the outset. The hon. member knows that. It is about discussion and dialogue. It is about putting indigenous peoples at the table, where, heretofore, they have not—

Bill C-15—Time Allocation MotionUnited Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ActGovernment Orders

May 14th, 2021 / 10:05 a.m.
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Bloc

Christine Normandin Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Madam Speaker, that is a little ironic because, yesterday, when we were debating the Bloc Québécois's opposition day motion, I talked about how one can be for a bill but against using closure to pass that bill.

The same principle applies here. I agree with Bill C-15. I realize that it needs to go through quickly. However, I do not agree with the government's approach. It has clearly done a poor job of managing its legislative calendar, and now it is shutting down debate on a very important subject that many members wanted to speak to. We got just two hours of debate on this.

Is this because we will not be able to debate it in September because there will be an election between now and then? Is that why the government had no choice but to bring in time allocation?

Bill C-15—Time Allocation MotionUnited Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ActGovernment Orders

May 14th, 2021 / 10:05 a.m.
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Liberal

David Lametti Liberal LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for her question.

The answer is no. This is a priority for the government, for indigenous peoples, and for indigenous leaders across the country.

The fact is, we have already covered this. We have already debated the substance of Bill C-15 because we debated its previous iteration, Bill C-262, which was introduced by our former colleague, Romeo Saganash. The previous Parliament passed that bill after a debate to which the Bloc Québécois contributed its opinion.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples itself has been around for 15 years, so it is not new.

Bill C-15—Time Allocation MotionUnited Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ActGovernment Orders

May 14th, 2021 / 10:05 a.m.
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NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Madam Speaker, the government is certainly using speed to get this bill through. Fair enough, but one wonders why it does not use speed to resolve community issues that have come up. First nations communities have desperate need to end boil water advisories, and we have heard the government is now extending the deadline. For over a decade, first nations communities continue to wait for that government support. Indigenous-led housing is also something the government has not tackled with any speed whatsoever, and we have seen first nations kids taken repeatedly to court rather than having their basic needs met.

The question is very simple. Liberals are using speed when it comes to this bill. Why do they not use the same speed to meet the needs of indigenous peoples in this country?

Bill C-15—Time Allocation MotionUnited Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ActGovernment Orders

May 14th, 2021 / 10:10 a.m.
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Liberal

David Lametti Liberal LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his support on this bill generally, as well as the support of his party. I obviously also salute the work that Romeo Saganash did in the last Parliament and continues to do in support and promotion of this bill.

We are working hard to solve infrastructure problems, drinking water problems. We have done a great deal of work on it, but we have admitted honestly that more work needs to be done. The same is true for resolving cases around Jordan's principle. We are working very hard to resolve those cases out of court where possible, and we are doing our best to move all of those files forward.

I think the hon. member and I share the same end point and the same goals, and we are pushing hard to make them happen.

Bill C-15—Time Allocation MotionUnited Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ActGovernment Orders

May 14th, 2021 / 10:10 a.m.
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Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Madam Speaker, I share the concern on this side of the House at the way the government is ramming through this piece of legislation. We heard at committee many times from indigenous groups themselves that said they have not had the opportunity to be consulted. We still have the outstanding question about the very important piece of FPIC, free, prior and informed consent, and what it means, and the minister, in his previous response to my friend from Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, was quite dismissive of it. The fact that the legislative branch is not doing its job in creating a definition so that industry and first nations communities themselves have an idea of what this means, and then chart a path forward that is best for them, is quite concerning.

Why will the government not do its work and get that definition done here so it is not challenged in the courts later, further delaying this process?

Bill C-15—Time Allocation MotionUnited Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ActGovernment Orders

May 14th, 2021 / 10:10 a.m.
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Liberal

David Lametti Liberal LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his work on committee. The answer is the same. The best expert opinions we have received throughout this and the most convincing arguments made have been that FPIC should not be defined in the legislation, cannot be defined in the legislation, because the very nature of FPIC is in a process.

We said from the beginning that we would consult as many indigenous leadership groups as we possibly could before the tabling of the bill. We did that. Those groups had an impact on the form of the bill before it was tabled. We continued to consult after the bill was tabled, and the indigenous groups, in making appearances at committee and in working with the government, have proposed a number of amendments, many of which we have accepted. Again, that consultation process continues, and the consultation process with indigenous leadership groups across Canada will continue as we move through the action plan and the co-development of it.

Bill C-15—Time Allocation MotionUnited Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ActGovernment Orders

May 14th, 2021 / 10:10 a.m.
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Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has called upon all levels of government in Canada to adopt and implement the UN declaration as the framework for reconciliation. I am wondering if the minister could provide his thoughts as to why it is so important in moving forward with reconciliation that the Government of Canada and the Prime Minister continue to push this bill so it ultimately can get passed.

Bill C-15—Time Allocation MotionUnited Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ActGovernment Orders

May 14th, 2021 / 10:10 a.m.
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Liberal

David Lametti Liberal LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his commitment to the reconciliation process generally. It is an important question. TRC called UNDRIP a road map to reconciliation, and we firmly believe that. This bill is about human rights. It is about the human rights of indigenous peoples. It behooves me to understand why people could be opposed to recognizing human rights for indigenous people, who simply want to have the same rights that other people in this country have.

Yes, this is a priority for our government. Yes, this helps the road map to reconciliation. It is fundamentally important. People like Dr. Wilton Littlechild, former Conservative member of Parliament and one of the architects of UNDRIP, have said that precisely.

Bill C-15—Time Allocation MotionUnited Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ActGovernment Orders

May 14th, 2021 / 10:10 a.m.
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Bloc

Andréanne Larouche Bloc Shefford, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for this morning's debate, which will be very short.

As the critic for the status of women, I would have liked to see the government have the same sense of urgency when it came to applying the recommendations of the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls as it did this morning for Bill C-15.

How much time has been spent so far debating a document as important as Bill C-15? I will give the House just one guess: barely an hour and 43 minutes and the minister is already imposing time allocation.

Does the minister think that one hour and 43 minutes is enough time to debate this important issue? What about the time allocation on Bill C-19, prorogation of Parliament and obstruction in committee? This government behaves like a majority government when voters gave it a minority mandate.

Bill C-15—Time Allocation MotionUnited Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ActGovernment Orders

May 14th, 2021 / 10:15 a.m.
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Liberal

David Lametti Liberal LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for the question. It is true that she was not here in the last Parliament when we fully debated Bill C-262, which is the foundation for the current Bill C-15. The House even passed Bill C-262, but it died on the Order Paper in the Senate because of the Conservative senators' political games.

This is therefore the second time the House is studying this issue, so much of it is very familiar. Everyone is indeed aware of the content of the bill and we are proceeding in this way because it is a priority for the country.

Bill C-15—Time Allocation MotionUnited Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ActGovernment Orders

May 14th, 2021 / 10:15 a.m.
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NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague. This issue is obviously a priority for the country. I must point out that Bill C-262 was introduced by our former colleague, Romeo Saganash, as an NDP initiative. Therefore, we are in agreement with the substance of Bill C-15.

However, if this bill were truly a priority for the government, why was it incapable of managing its legislative agenda and the activities of the House in such a way as to move it forward without having to resort to time allocation? This is another example of inept management by the Liberals, who now claim the bill is a priority.

Bill C-15—Time Allocation MotionUnited Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ActGovernment Orders

May 14th, 2021 / 10:15 a.m.
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Liberal

David Lametti Liberal LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his question and his support for the substance of this bill.

I will once again highlight Romeo Saganash's work on the previous bill, which is the basis for Bill C-15. I also want to remind members that Mr. Saganash continues to promote Bill C-15 to this day.

We must proceed in this way because, as the House has noticed, certain dilatory tactics are being used, especially by one opposition party.