A former minister of Indian Affairs says Canada’s international standing is being harmed by the federal government’s disregard for Indigenous rights.
Warren Allmand, the current president of the World Federalist Movement, has co-authored a paper on how Canada should move forward internationally.
He argues the Harper government’s decision to scrap the Kelowna Accord and reluctance to adopt to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples have hurt Canada’s international standing.
Allmand says even though the federal government eventually signed the UN declaration, its initial hesitation has harmed its standing in the international community.
“Right since the beginning of the UN, every so many years, Canada was always voted on the Security Council and the last time they lost the vote because, I think, of this policy they have of opposing things and withdrawing from international treaties and supporting international operations,” he says.
Allmand adds the UN Declaration is something many Indigenous people would like to see expanded into other areas, including health.
“In other words what has to be done, now that the UN has adopted this declaration on the rights of Indigenous people, it has to be implemented at all levels and a government that really supports Indigenous peoples would at the United Nations push for this mainstreaming of those rights in all areas,” he says.
He says the Harper government’s refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol has also hurt Canada’s international standing.