Report of the committee
Thursday, November 30, 2023
The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs has the honour to present its
Your committee, to which was referred Bill S-13, An Act to amend the Interpretation Act and to make related amendments to other Acts, has, in obedience to the order of reference of Wednesday, September 27, 2023, examined the said bill and now reports the same without amendment but with certain observations, which are appended to this report.
Observations to the Nineteenth Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs (Bill S-13)
The government of Canada’s Action Plan to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (UNDRIP Act) includes a potential future amendment to the Interpretation Act to add a provision that would specifically provide for the use of the UNDRIP Act when interpreting all federal legislation. Many witnesses stressed the importance of the proposed interpretative provision in recognizing and respecting the human rights of Indigenous peoples. A few witnesses raised concerns regarding inadequate consultation on Bill S-13. Many witnesses categorically emphasized the necessity of full and complete consultation with Indigenous peoples when implementing the Action Plan, including with respect to amendments to the Interpretation Act.
This committee invites the federal government to initiate without delay the meaningful, thorough, and purposeful consultation with Indigenous peoples that is required to uphold the consultation and collaboration obligations under the UNDRIP Act in the implementation of the government’s Action Plan.