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Showing posts from March, 2010

Bill C-3 Creates More Discrimination than it Remedies

As with all my blogs, the contents are my own personal views and should never be taken as legal advice.

In my last blog, I provided some of my concerns with regards to Bill C-3 Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act which was introduced on March 11, 2010. The purpose of this blog will be to review Bill C-3 in much more detail. However, readers should be aware that this Bill is not yet law and must go through several more stages before it even has a chance at being law.

First it is introduced in the House of Commons and given its first reading, which is really just a presentation of the Bill - like what Minister Strahl did with Bill C-3. It must then go through a second reading (where the principle of the Bill is debated) and then referred to committee for study. It is at this stage that the committee will hear witnesses and comments about each section of the Bill. The next stage is the report stage where amendments can be made and then this is followed by the third and final reading. …

UPDATED - Bill C-3 - Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act

Sharon McIvor went to court to challenge the gender discrimination in section 6 of the Indian Act, 1985. Registration under the Indian Act provides greater entitlements to Indian men who married out (married a non-Indian) and their descendants as compared with Indian women who married out.

McIvor won both at trial and on appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear any further appeal. While the trial court would have offered a broader remedy, the court of appeal limited the scope of the discrimination and therefore made comments which suggested to Canada that it might get away with a minimalist amendment. (For further information on the McIvor case, see my previous blog entry).

As a result of these legal proceedings, Canada embarked upon a very short "engagement" process. It chose not to consult with Aboriginal peoples about the need to amend the Indian Act and instead presented Aboriginal groups with their proposed amendment. Prior to the amendments being released, …