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Cuthand: Court challenge to omnibus bills could bring better recognition of treaty rights – Starphoenix

by ahnationtalk on January 22, 2018194 Views

The Mikisew Cree case might well be the next success and move our people even further ahead in gaining recognition of our self-government and treaty rights, writes Doug Cuthand.

January 20, 2018

The Harper government was famous for its omnibus bills. These undemocratic pieces of legislation were often more than 400 pages long and amended numerous unrelated pieces of legislation. These monstrosities were pushed through Parliament despite opposition complaints.

In March 2012 the government introduced a budget omnibus bill C-45 that amended 64 acts or regulations including the Indian Act, the Navigation Protection Act (former Navigable Waters Protection Act) and the Environmental Assessment Act.

First Nations were not consulted even though the legislation had a direct effect on First Nations’ treaty and Aboriginal rights. As a result, four women in Saskatchewan organized an event to discuss the fallout from Bill C-45. Jessica Gordon, Sheelah McLean, Sylvia McAdam and Nina Wilson were concerned the bill would erode treaty and Aboriginal rights.

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