Share this!

Our women and their descendants need your help to regain their citizenship in their respective First Nations. Being status-less is like being stateless.

Liberal Sen. Lillian Dyck

OTTAWA — The federal government has averted a potentially chaotic, country-wide halt to Indian status registration.

In the wake of a dramatic showdown at the end of the parliamentary year in June, a Quebec Court of Appeal decided Friday to give Liberals until Dec. 22 to finalize a bill that’s been held up by the Senate.

The bill, a response to a Quebec court decision from summer 2015, is supposed to address sex-based inequities in the Indian Act — basically, problems with the existing law that were keeping some Indigenous people from being able to obtain the government services they are entitled to.

But the piece of legislation, Bill S-3, has reached an impasse with the Senate fighting to keep amendments that would seek to address further discrimination issues by widening the scope of what qualifies as Indian status.

Unlike with the federal budget and several other pieces of legislation this year which the Senate contested, the upper house wasn’t willing to back down on its amendment and as the houses rose for the summer it instead deferred discussion over the bill to this fall.

 

Our women and their descendants need your help to regain their citizenship in their respective First Nations. Being status-less is like being stateless.

 

Because the original court decision found unconstitutional the section of the Indian Act that deals with status, this part of the law would have been struck down if the government didn’t fix it before a court-imposed deadline. Liberals had already sought one deadline extension, and the Senate’s deferral of the bill forced them to try for a second extension at the beginning of July.

The judge who’d presided over the original case denied the government another extension, raising fears the entire system would grind to a halt. But the government appealed the decision and on Friday the appeal court judges gave the government what is likely to be a final extension.

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Share this!