Since the bill was written and tabled, the government of the day, through the Minister of Justice, Jody Wilson-Raybould, has stated that the government will be supporting Romeo Saganash's Bill C-262, which states 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.
She has said, then, that it acknowledges the application of the UN declaration in Canada and calls for the alignment of the laws of Canada to the UN declaration. She has said that she will now ensure that all the laws of the nation will be aligned with the UNDRIP. That's a very specific commitment.
The problem with the way that proposed paragraph 5(g) is written right now is that it's a very narrow and tiny aspect of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. When you go through that, particularly if you go to articles 18, 20, 23, 26, 29, 31, or 32, there are many provisions of the UNDRIP that relate to sustainable development, far beyond traditional knowledge and unique understanding of lands.
It was also recommended, as I recall, by the commissioner, and also by Scott Vaughan, the former commissioner, now the head of the International Institute for Sustainable Development, that there should be specific reference to the UNDRIP in this. That's why I'm recommending replacing paragraph (g), which includes only a very narrow aspect of what Canada has committed to.
If we're talking about his broad definition of sustainable development, we need to make sure, when we're speaking of indigenous rights, that we're embracing all of what Canada has said that it embraces. It did say it embraced it before, but it's going to put it into law, and the laws of the land should be consistent.
To me, the simplest way to do it is to reference the UNDRIP.