On the eve of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s apology to residential school survivors in Labrador, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett and Labrador MP Yvonne Jones met with Muskrat Falls land protectors for a sharing circle and to talk about the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
The event came just days after federal Justice Minister Judy Wilson-Raybould announced the Liberals would support NDP MP Romeo Saganash’s private members’ bill, C-262, which calls for the full implementation of the UNDRIP into Canadian law. Land protectors and the leadership of two of Labrador’s three Indigenous groups have maintained…Muskrat Falls contravenes several articles from UNDRIP and calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
…Responding to the land protectors, Bennett said the government is working to bring Canadian law into accordance with UNDRIP, and that they will “go further than that in a Canadian way, in that here we have First Nations, Inuit, Metis rights, Section 35 rights and treaties, and so our legislation will be specific for Canada but will embody those principles.”
However, Bennett indicated the Liberals are not likely to look at resource development projects that have already been sanctioned. She said, “going backwards is going to be very difficult.”