BC NDP populated Aboriginal Affairs committee that they consistently neglect

Feb 26, 2024 | 42-5, Blog, Governance, Indigenous, Legislature, Motions, Video

The Select Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs is required to be populated by the government at each new session of the Parliament.

However, government has failed to call the committee take advantage of the fact that all political parties are represented and it could be a good opportunity to maintain the unanimity of the reconciliation project that was achieved back in 2019 when we all voted in favour of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

The recent issues faced by government on the proposed Land Act amendments that the BC NDP eventually back away from is a prime example of an issue that had the Minister responsible had the Aboriginal Affairs committee available to them they could have consulted the political parties on their intentions and minimized their exposure on the issue.

This BC NDP government need not be so insular! It’s time to use the Aboriginal Affairs committee.


A. Olsen: Mr. Speaker, I just rise to speak to the report, recognizing that, once again, we’ve put members on a Select Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs.

It’s been a long, long time since this committee has been called to sit, like the early 2000s, 2001.

[2:30 p.m.]

As we’ve seen over the the last number of weeks in this province, substantive issues with respect to Indigenous reconciliation…. Considerable space has been taken to, frankly, I think, diminish the road of reconciliation that we’ve been on. Each time that we have put members of this place on the Aboriginal Affairs Committee, I’ve raised this concern: that we continue to put members here but yet never use it.

When we consider the Land Act amendments, as an example — that have recently been pulled, that have recently caused a great deal of concern, that have recently been used to divide this House and to divide British Columbians — I couldn’t think of a better place for that discussion to happen in order to maintain the unanimity that was achieved back in 2019.

We continue to neglect the very committee that could keep the members of this House together. It’s an opportunity for the minister to bring forward the initiatives, to have an early discussion with the members of this place, to ensure that there is a full understanding of what the intentions of those amendments are, to ensure that there aren’t, then, members of this place that go out and, frankly, put misinformation and disinformation into the environment, making it incredibly difficult and setting our reconciliatory process back.

I’ll just end with this. It is my hope that this government — and if not this parliament, but in a future parliament — will see the wisdom in using this committee as a way to ensure that we can maintain the unanimity and maintain the momentum that we have started in 2019 in advancing reconciliation, not just on behalf of Indigenous people in this province, but indeed on behalf of all British Columbians.



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