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Showing posts from May, 2017

Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Fatally Flawed

(Originally published in Lawyer's Daily on May 15, 2017)
It looks like those who advocated for the long-awaited national inquiry into murdered and missing indigenous women and girls will be waiting a little while longer.
Despite the promise from Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the national inquiry would be his first order of business, it has been 19 months since his election and the inquiry hasn’t held a single day of hearings. Although the commissioners held two soft launches in September 2016 and February 2017 promising to launch the hearings soon, the inquiry has not started, nor will they hear from the families until fall 2017.
Given that the commissioners were given exceptionally limited time to conduct the inquiry, the fact that they have already used up nine of the 26 months allocated to them is a major concern. At this point, the commissioners have very little to show for either the time used or the money spent to date — more than 10 per cent of its $53 million bud…

Nation to Nation Relations Need Repeal of Paternalistic Laws

(Originally published in Lawyer's Daily on April 17, 2017)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau swept the Liberals into power on Oct.19, 2015, with the support of Indigenous peoples who voted in record numbers. Trudeau’s election platform consisted of core promises made to the Chiefs in Assembly on July 7, 2015, which would include the review and repeal of legislation unilaterally imposed on First Nations by former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Trudeau confirmed his government’s commitment at a subsequent meeting of the Chiefs of Assembly on Dec. 8, 2015.
This was a significant commitment for First Nations since the unilateral imposition of these laws by the Harper government had inspired the largest social movement in Canada’s history: Idle No More. Indigenous peoples took to the streets for nearly a year protesting Bill C-45, an omnibus bill that would remove protections for various waterways; Bill C-27 First Nations Financial Transparency Act; Bill S-2 Family Homes on Rese…