The big news yesterday was Justin Trudeau delivering a major policy speech in the House of Commons about creating a new legal framework for the rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada that aims to fully implement the treaties that have not been properly enacted, and that will build toward self-governance by creating the capacity within individual First Nations and other Indigenous communities that will enable them to take up that governance space at their own pace. Trudeau insisted that this would not require constitutional change but would rather put some meat on the bones of Section 35 of the Constitution, and the existing treaties. And yes, criminal justice reform including how juries are selected was also part of the promise (and I’ve heard that we might see new legislation around that in March). Trudeau said that this announcement comes with a new round of consultations, but the aim was to have legislation tabled by the fall, with the framework fully implemented before the next election.
"I look forward to the day when the Indian Act no longer exists," says @Puglaas. Says new framework will create space for Indigenous people to determine priorities. #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/Upo0PEMWZl
— Power & Politics (@PnPCBC) February 14, 2018
Reaction from Indigenous leaders is cautious so far, because there aren’t a lot of details – and there probably won’t be many until something gets tabled later in the year. The flipside of that, of course, is that there’s room and space for these leaders to give their input during the consultative process that is to come, seeing as Trudeau is promising to work together to develop this framework. There are other questions when it comes to lands and resources, which I’m not sure if this framework itself will cover or if the framework will guide how those issues are to be solved going forward, and that’s also likely going to depend on the cooperation of the provincial governments, but there does seem to be some momentum. That will also depend on Parliament moving this forward, and while the NDP seem to be onboard, the Conservative response to Trudeau’s speech warned about being too ambitious, which should probably be some kind of a warning signal. But it’s early days, and we’ll see how the next few months unfold.
- During QP yesterday, Trudeau listed enhanced funding for CBC and reviewing the Canadian Periodical Fund as help for local journalism.
- Before attending Trudeau’s speech on the Indigenous rights framework, the Boushie family met with NDP leaders, but not Andrew Scheer, who is out of town this week.
- Here is a copy of the transcript of the judge’s instructions to the jury in the Gerald Stanley trial, so you can determine if an error in law was made.
- Cabinet says they’re not behind the threats for time allocation on the cannabis bill in the Senate, while the Conservatives are not keen to hasten things along.
- The government says they have slashed the backlog and wait times for spousal immigration sponsorships.
- With veterans protesting on the Hill again, here is a look at the entrenched problems they face, largely with the bureaucracy.
- The CRA, with the assistance of police, raided sites in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver related to the Panama Papers revelations.
- Don’t expect our new replacement fighter jet fleet to be fully operational until 2031.
- The government reversed the Conservative decision to withdraw from NATO’s Airborne Warning and Control System.
- Here is a profile of Suzanne Cowan, daughter of Senator Cowan, who is running to be Liberal Party president.
- Among other policies to be discussed at this weekend’s NDP convention, the party’s harassment policies will come up.
- Kady O’Malley looks at the NDP policy resolutions that didn’t get shortlisted for debate at the convention.
- Susan Delacourt looks at how the trust index of Canadian journalists has been on the rise, for a change.
- Andrew Coyne is thoroughly unimpressed with yet more demands for a bailout of the media industry, while Andrew Potter sees danger in subscriber-only models.
- Mike Moffatt looks at the hole in both the fiscal and climate plans that “cancelling” the carbon tax in Ontario would create.
Odds and ends:
Caroline Maynard has been nominated as the next Information Commissioner.
The Canadian Forces has decided to designate WWII destroyer HMSC Haida as the RCN flagship “for ceremonial purposes.”