December 4th, 2020
Gord Johns issues statement on Liberal UNDRIP Bill
The implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People has been decades in the making. After years of supporting my former NDP colleague Romeo Saganash in his fight for this bill in Parliament, I am pleased that the Liberal government has reintroduced it following its defeat in 2019 by unelected Conservative senators.
This bill represents the essence of reconciliation with Indigenous people in Canada. As such, it is essential that it be constructed through nation-to-nation collaboration prior to parliamentary approval and Royal Assent. This process must not be an excuse for delaying the important work of upholding the rights of Indigenous people including safe drinking water, equitable child protection or fair treatment in the education, health and justice systems. It must also not delay the timely implementation of calls to action and for justice in the Truth and Reconciliation and Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls inquiries.
Decades of broken promises won’t be solved with this legislation. Systemic racism must be eliminated in all Canadian institutions and in the hearts and minds of all Canadians.