Petition update

The Status of Bill S-3 …

Lynn Gehl
Peterborough, Canada

Jul 23, 2017 — Kwey Petition Signatories and Supporters,

Some people are asking me, “What is the status of Bill S-3, An Act to amend the Indian Act (the elimination of sex-based inequities in registration)?”

As I understand it, the Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples added a comprehensive clause known colloquially as “61(a) All the Way!” to Bill S-3. This clause would address all the sex discrimination in the Indian Act. The larger Senate body was in support of this process and goal. Then the Bill went forward to the House of Commons who removed this comprehensive clause, changed the name of the Bill, and rose for the summer. The House of Commons assumed the Senate would rubber stamp the gutted version of the Bill but this did not happen. Rather, the government leader in the Senate opted not to enter into debate where then the Senate also rose for the summer.

As this was going on Descheneaux’s legal counsel, David Schulze and Mary Eberts, requested an extension from Quebec Superior Court Justice Chantal Masse because the July 3rd deadline would not be met and they did not want section 6 of the Indian Act to hang in limbo where as a result INAC would not be able to process applications for Indian status registration. Masse turned them down.

Then INAC’s counsel, the Department of Justice, asked Masse for an extension but she turned them down too because Ottawa already received an extension to address the issue. INAC/DOJ then filed an appeal with the Quebec Court of Appeal and this will be heard on August 9th.

(Note: This is my understanding. I am sure that David Schulze or Pam Palmater could give a more exact summary.)

These news articles may be useful:

Here is a link to a blog I did explaining “61(a) All the Way”:

I hope this is useful.


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