Here’s another opinion piece from Andrew Roman on UNDRIP. I believe this captures its essence.
We didn’t need UNDRIP in 2007 and we don’t need it now. Our laws are already consistent with, and better than UNDRIP. In fact, if Justin Trudeau wanted to exhibit international leadership in reducing unfairness to Indigenous peoples, why not encourage the UN to update UNDRIP to make it consistent with Canadian laws, such as our Charter, the Canada Human Rights Act and the judicial decisions creating a duty of consultation? Better that the rest of the world move forward than Canada backward. . . .
The legal rights of Canada’s Indigenous peoples are set out in a large body of constitutional and human rights law, both federal and provincial. If Parliament now enacts some of these same rights again, using the same language as in existing laws, it will have achieved nothing. But if it uses different language, that will engender years of costly constitutional litigation to clarify what, if anything, Parliament intended to add to Indigenous peoples’ established rights. That’s another problem, not a solution.
If UNDRIP won’t make a legal difference, then Canada’s Indigenous peoples don’t need it. If it does make a difference, one that causes years of harmful legal confusion, then Canada’s Indigenous peoples shouldn’t want it.
Here’s a link to his first post.
Isabel – and if the First Nations and the politically correct aren’t happy with the way things stand in Canada at present, why don’t we amend the existing Treaties after consultation with both sides and pass those amendments into law instead of letting the unelected Supreme Court decide what the Treaties should mean?
John – I believe that would be Roman’s suggestion. It’s absolutely OK to negotiate a new agreement and even to legislate new rights, but it should be done transparently, not by stealth.