Questioning the wording in B.C.’s UNDRIP bill

Dear editor,

On Oct. 24, the B.C. Government tabled their bill on adopting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

With the support of the Greens, the bill will surely pass. Since B.C. is the only province that hasn’t negotiated any land treaties this is a step forward, with special thanks to Minister Scott Fraser for the precedent-setting work his department has done.

I’m puzzled though by the meaning of the words in Article 19 where the different parties must negotiate in ‘good faith’ to ‘obtain free, prior and informed consent’ before actions are implemented that might affect the Indigenous people involved.

Last year I attended a meeting at our local college to hear three guests talk about the B.C. Government’s decision to proceed with the Liberal project to build the Site C dam. Amnesty International presented, as did Indigenous leader Bob Chamberlin and Sarah Cox (award-winning author of Breaching the Peace).

I took home a copy of UNDRIP and am astounded at how many articles in this document have been violated by the ongoing construction of the Site C dam. Is there any chance that this bill could be made ‘retroactive’ in order to address these serious violations? Probably not.

Sadly, in my elder years, I’ve become somewhat cynical. I see the B.C. Government, hydro, forestry, mining companies, and the LNG promoters publicly getting that ‘free, prior and informed consent’ and then carrying on as planned! The minister has said so himself…”No veto over development … minimum standards,” obviously business as usual. Very disheartening.

Rosemary Baxter

Courtenay B.C.

Just Posted

North Island College Foundation helping more students than ever before

More than 235 North Island College students in the Comox Valley received… Continue reading

VIDEO: Comox Valley welcomes Eritrean refugees

Organizer Idris also fled Eritrea back in 2008

Aid a priority for idled Vancouver Island loggers, John Horgan says

Steelworkers, Western Forest Products returning to mediation

McKinnon joins Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North team

Karen McKinnon has joined Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North (Habitat VIN)… Continue reading

Everybody Deserves a Smile’s 2019 campaign coming to fruition

The 2019 Everybody Deserves a Smile campaign is reaching its crescendo. Thursday… Continue reading

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Comox Valley RCMP issue arrest warrant for local man

Comox Valley RCMP warrant of the week

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Most Read