Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

November 13, 2007 10:37 ET

Government of Canada Moves to Deliver Human Rights Protection for Aboriginal Canadians, Again

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 13, 2007) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, today reinstated legislation to repeal section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. This section prevents First Nations people governed by the Indian Act from receiving the same legal protection against discrimination that is afforded to all other Canadians.

"Section 67 was meant to be a temporary measure to allow certain reforms of the Indian Act, but that was thirty years ago," says Minister Strahl. "Reinstatement of Bill C-44 represents this Government's second attempt at rectifying this historic wrong. It will provide legal protection to some of the most vulnerable members of Canadian society."

Originally introduced in December 2006, as Bill C-44, the reinstated bill will return to the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development for study. Acknowledging the testimony expressed by witnesses that appeared on Bill C-44, Minister Strahl indicated that the government intends to move the same amendments in Committee that it had proposed prior to the prorogation of Parliament. These include an amendment to extend the transition period from six to eighteen months and new language to define to whom the transition period will apply.

"As such, I call upon all the opposition members of the committee to proceed to clause-by-clause consideration of the bill as quickly as possible," added Minister Strahl.

"Passage of the bill will mark a significant step forward in fulfilling the Government's ongoing commitment to the preservation of individual rights for all Canadians, including First Nations individuals," said the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls.

This release is also available on the Internet at www.inac.gc.ca

Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    Philippe Mailhot
    Press Secretary
    819-997-0002
    or
    Media Relations
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    819-953-1160