Bill to implement UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples clears Senate

A landmark piece of Liberal legislation aimed at harmonizing Canada’s laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has passed third reading in the Senate.

Bill C-15 cleared the Senate today on a final vote of 61-10, with nine senators abstaining.

The UNDRIP bill got a rough ride in the Commons and in the Senate, with Conservatives in both chambers raising concerns about its potential negative impacts.

Conservative MPs voted against the bill in the Commons, arguing it would give Indigenous people a “veto” over natural resource projects.

In the Senate, some Conservative senators brought forward concerns from six Tory premiers who expressed strong reservations about how the federal bill could affect provincial laws and areas of jurisdiction.

With the prospect of a federal election on the horizon, the bill needed to pass before Parliament rises for the summer next week to keep it from dying on the order paper again.

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