Indigenous and Northern Affairs—Gender-based DiscriminationPublished on 19 June 2017 Hansard and Statements by Senator Sandra Lovelace Nicholas
Hon. Sandra Lovelace Nicholas:
My question is to the Government Representative in the Senate.
Honourable senators, I stand before you a very disheartened and dispirited indigenous woman to learn that the government will not support the Senate’s amendment to Bill S-3 that would eliminate gender discrimination completely from the Indian Act.
I am especially offended that the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs would promote the continuing discrimination against other women by strongly advising the members of Parliament not to support the Senate’s amendment, but instead to support her plan in engaging in a second phase of consultation to examine how to make the act less discriminatory. Honourable senators, discrimination is discrimination.
This also goes against the government’s election promise to have a better relationship with indigenous people and a more gender-inclusive approach to governing. Another broken promise.
How can the government justify leaving out the female descendants of these disenfranchised indigenous women whose status was taken away by the government when we know this will increase their likelihood of being preyed upon, go missing, sexually assaulted or murdered?