Federal UNDRIP legislation

The Federal Government has introduced legislation to bring laws of Canada into alignment with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).Bill C-15, introduced on December 3, affirms UNDRIP as an international human rights instrument “with application in Canadian Law”, and specifies that the Government of Canada must, in consultation and cooperation with Indigenous Peoples, take all measures necessary to ensure that the laws of Canada are consistent with the Declaration.

The draft legislation incorporates two major implementation mechanisms:

  • An action plan, to be developed in consultation and cooperation with Indigenous peoples, that would include measures to: address injustices, prejudice and discrimination; promote mutual respect and understanding including through education; and address monitoring, oversight and accountability. The plan must be completed within 3 years of the legislation coming into force.
  • An annual report, also to be developed in cooperation and consultation of Indigenous peoples, that must be prepared within 90 days of the end of each fiscal year.

UBCM membership has voiced their support for UNDRIP through resolution 2015-B106 calling on the Province and Federal Government to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation recommendations, and through resolutions referencing and supporting work towards specific elements of UNDRIP (2018-B149, 2018-B150).

While supporting UNDRIP, members have consistently called for collaboration and information sharing on initiatives that may impact local government jurisdiction, including via resolution 2019-A4 which seeks “a clear delineation of the responsibilities of local governments in relation to the implementation” of processes related to UNDRIP. 

UBCM will continue to seek opportunities for engagement and to clarify implications of the new legislation for local governments.

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