AFN Not In Favour Of New MRP Legislation

Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 12:59



The Assembly of First Nations is concerned federal legislation reintroduced for on-reserve matrimonial interests will not provide justice to First Nations people involved in a marital breakdown.


Ottawa reintroduced the legislation yesterday after it died on the order paper when this spring’s election was called.


Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan says this version includes some changes to address concerns brought up by First Nations, including a 12-month phase-in.


AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo says the legislation does not provide the necessary tools or enough capacity for First Nations governments to deal with the issues arrising during a marriage break-up.


He says First Nations would be willing to work with the government on a more effective approach.


The legislation was originally introduced in 2008 and has been opposed by the AFN, as well as other organizations such as the Native Women’s Association of Canada.


A concern is that First Nations citizens lacking capacity will be left relying on provincial courts, which are often too expensive or too difficult to access from remote communities.


(includes files from The Canadian Press)