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Trudeau government to create new legal framework for Indigenous people

February 14, 2018 1:33 PM
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Trudeau government to create new legal framework for Indigenous people

Framework would cover reserves and systems of governance, CBC has learned

The federal government will create a legal framework to guarantee the rights of Indigenous people in Canada, CBC News/Radio-Canada has learned.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will make the announcement in the House of Commons just after question period today.

While Indigenous and treaty rights are recognized under Section 35 of the Constitution, the sources said those rights are often tested in court.

This new system would ensure that the starting premise of all federal government action is the recognition of Indigenous rights, said one source with knowledge of the speech.

"We have a Constitution that created a space for Indigenous rights, but over the past decades, we haven't done a very good job of putting those rights at the forefront of all our decision-makings and all of our engagement with them," Trudeau told reporters before heading into a caucus meeting Wednesday.

The framework would be implemented through a series of measures, including legislation, but it's not clear when that would be formally introduced.

Sources said the prime minister's speech has been in the works for a long time.


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