Mr. Speaker, after a long court process, the Supreme Court of Canada indicated that it would not hear the Sharon McIvor case regarding Bill C-31. It is now up to the federal government to reverse the historical injustices that first nations women have faced under the Indian Act.
In 1985, the government attempted to eliminate sex discrimination under the act with Bill C-31. While it solved some issues, there were unintended discriminatory consequences. This time the government must do it right. As Ms. McIvor has stated, “It is unacceptable that sex discrimination in the registration provisions of the Indian Act continue”. Ms. McIvor further stated that the government's “proposed amendment will not extend registration entitlement to everyone who would be entitled if status were determined by the federal government on a totally non-discriminatory basis”.
This must be fixed. it is essential that we as Canadians get this right. It must be done in full consultation with first nations people and most certainly first nations women.