UPDATE: National Indigenous Peoples Day bill delayed

By Derek Cornet
February 14, 2018 - 2:00pm Updated: February 15, 2018 - 11:53am

UPDATE: Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River NDP MLA Georgina Jolibois’ private member’s bill for a new national holiday was delayed in the House of Commons yesterday.

It was postponed, she said, because of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s speech about establishing a new legal framework to foster self-governance amongst Indigenous peoples. Jolibois also noted she didn’t know when the bill will be rescheduled for a second reading.

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Canada is one step closer to a national holiday celebrating Indigenous peoples.

The bill, introduced by Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River NDP MP Georgina Jolibois, seeks to proclaim Indigenous Peoples Day as a new national holiday on June 21. Jolibois said the bill reached its second reading today in the process to become law. As an NDP MP, Jolibois said she’ll need support from all sides of the House of Commons if the bill continues to the committee stage.

“I have 15 minutes of presentation and five minutes of questions, and then there will be other MPs who will have the opportunity to do presentations in support of the bill,” Jolibois said. “It’s moving along, and my understanding is that the bill will be dealt with before the end of this term if the election is to be held in October, 2019.”

Just last week, Jolibois said, fellow NDP MP Romeo Saganash passed a bill to ensure Canadian laws respect the United Nation’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. She said Saganash's bill passed because it received the support of the Liberals.

“It would make sense for the Liberal government to support my bill, especially when they’re talking about improving and building relationships with Indigenous peoples across Canada,” Jolibois said. “I have received tons of support across Canada.”

In the committee stage, she said the bill will be examined carefully and changes or amendments could be made before it is sent back to the Chamber in a report. If there are no issues, the bill then reaches a third reading and, if passed again, receives Royal Assent and become law. 

 

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