Back in April I wrote about one of the things I am proudest to have been a part of during my time on Parliament Hill; Bill C-262, An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. After years and years of work, a year ago this bill from MP Romeo Saganash passed through the House of Commons and was sent to the Senate, where it has face delay after delay.
Finally thought last month there seemed to be a breakthrough; the bill was finally sent to the Senate Aboriginal Peoples committee to be considered, keeping it on path to be passed before the end of this Parliament. It seemed that the Senate Conservatives, led by Senators Don Plett and Scott Tannas, were finally relenting, accepting reality and were stopping their efforts to kill this important piece of legislation. Well, that was until last night, when the Senate Conservatives decided to overstep their bounds and do this:
As you can imagine, I’m quite pissed off by this obstinate ignorance from this group, but especially Senator Plett himself. He’s made it very clear that he doesn’t give a damn about Indigenous peoples and our rights and he’s decided to ignore the majority will of the elected House of Commons and the unelected Senate at Second Reading. And to do so, he’s decided to use underhanded procedural tricks and games to try to suffocate this bill in it’s place. He’s also gone on Twitter to make some of the most spurious and disingenuous argues to defend himself, like it took 24 years for UNDRIP to get passed through the United Nations so it should take more than 24 days to get through the Senate. What horse crap senator. The bill has been in this Parliament for over three years and was passed over a year ago. The Senate has had it for over 370 plus days, and it’s not the fault of Indigenous peoples that certain Senators like Don Plett have been negligent about getting to work on this. That’s on them, and they own that. On top of that, you also need to remember that two versions of this exactly same bill were introduced in the last Parliament, so you can easily say that this whole concept has been in the public sphere being debated for over eight years.
At this point it’s clear that ignorance and ideology from the likes of Senator Plett are standing in the way here, leaving one to wonder why Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer hasn’t stepped in to get his Senators in line and out of the way. It’s one thing to oppose an idea and lose an honest debate, but it’s something else completely different to lose that fight, continue to refuse to accept that loss and use undemocratic tricks and stall tactics to effectively kill a bill the people who are actually get elected passed. Let’s be clear on one point; if Senator Plett actually succeeds in this attempt, this lays on the head of Andrew Scheer and his Conservative party as much as anyone else. This is a clear attempt to deny basic human rights to Indigenous peoples and I don’t know how any party in 2019 in Canada can try to deny those while trying to say they respect human rights with any credibility. This is the Senate at it’s worst folks, and the blame for that lays solely on the shoulders of a handful of retrograde, handpicked, party loyalists who are living in the past. It’s time for the Senator to grow up and stand down, something I never thought I’d need to say about an honourable member of the Red Chamber. Yet here we are, and that’s the truth of the matter.