The following is the text of a letter sent, by both e-mail and physical mail, to represent the Edmonton Interfaith Centre’s position regarding Bill C-15 to the four Senators that represent Alberta in the Senate of Canada:
Dear Senators Black, LaBoucane-Benson, Simons and Tannas:
It has come to our attention that Bill C-15 is currently before the Senate. We want to encourage you to pass it.
The importance of this Bill cannot be overstated. As we understand it, Bill C-15 asks the Government of Canada to examine all laws to discover where any prejudice towards indigenous peoples may occur and change those laws so that they conform with the requirements of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
This quote is from a summary statement, “Bill C-15 would affirm UNDRIP’s application to Canadian law, to ensure that the laws of Canada are consistent with UNDRIP and provide a framework for Canada’s implementation of UNDRIP. The principles set out in the bill are a benchmark for Canada’s conduct going forward.“
Indigenous people in Canada have suffered for many years under laws that seemed reasonable and necessary at the time. These laws have proven to be arbitrary, discriminatory and prejudicial. Acknowledging the injustice of these laws requires the passing of Bill C-15.
We also understand that a full 60% of Canadian people support this bill and want you to approve it so that discriminatory laws can be corrected.
It’s a national embarrassment that Canada, known for its fair-mindedness and support of Human Rights around the world, would be treating its own indigenous citizens so poorly. This problem has to be fixed.
Please support working for the right thing to do, freeing indigenous people from the oppressive laws that have caused them considerable harm and suffering for so long.
Vote to Pass C-15!
Thanks for your consideration,
Guy Blood, President, and the Board of Directors of the Edmonton Interfaith Centre for Education & Action