Canadian Bar Association's B.C. branch applauds funding to advance Indigenous reconciliation

Government also allotted funds to enhance strategy towards modernizing court processes

Canadian Bar Association's B.C. branch applauds funding to advance Indigenous reconciliation

The Canadian Bar Association’s British Columbia branch has commended the provincial government for allocating funds to ensure the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

Enacted in Nov. 2019, the DRIPA Act establishes the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as the province’s framework for reconciliation. B.C. is the first jurisdiction in Canada to pass legislation implementing the UNDRIP.

In particular, the CBABC applauded the government for its commitment to invest $12 million over the next three years to create a Declaration Act Secretariat. The secretariat will guide and assist the government in meeting its obligation to ensure that DRIPA Act is consistent with UNDRIP and developed in consultation and cooperation with Indigenous people.

However, the CBABC urged the government “to go further.”

 “One of the B.C. government’s biggest priorities should be adequate funding for the implementation of DRIPA into provincial law reform,” CBABC President Clare Jennings said. “To advance meaningful reconciliation, it is essential that the work of the secretariat produces tangible results for Indigenous communities.”

The CBA-BC added that the government allotted an additional $12 million to enhance its strategy towards modernizing court processes. But the CBABC noted that “more is required” to guarantee access to remote appearances for pre-trial hearings, digital information-sharing platforms and court services staffing.

“With so many critical issues at the forefront, it’s important to not overlook the significant positive impact of a well-funded legal system, and its ability to truly help people,” Jennings said.

According to CBABC, it will continue to hold the government accountable to protect the most vulnerable citizens across the province and advance the justice system as outlined in its Agenda for Justice 2021.

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