Tories’ Native Human Rights Bill Suffers Setback

Thursday, July 26, 2007 at 15:49



Applause erupted at a packed meeting on Parliament Hill today as a Conservative bid to push through contentious Aboriginal legislation was derailed by united Opposition MPs.


The Tories want to extend human rights law to First Nations, but Native leaders say they weren’t properly consulted and don’t have the cash to comply.


The Assembly of First Nations has asked for a three-year transition period — as was granted to provinces before the Charter of Rights took effect — for education and preparation.


The Conservatives have offered 18 months, up from the six months included in the original bill, but no new funding or formal consultation.


The Tories today accused rival MPs of delaying human rights for vulnerable Native people, while opposition MPs assailed the government for staging what they called a calculated political stunt.


The meeting ended about an hour later when opposition MPs passed a Liberal motion to suspend debate on the bill until the government formally consults First Nations.


(courtesy of the Canadian Press)