Federal government changes course on sex discrimination legislation


OTTAWA — The federal government has decided to change course on its proposed legislation to end sex-based discrimination in the Indian Act.

The government’s point man in the Senate, Sen. Peter Harder, told the upper chamber this afternoon the government is offering to make a change that would restore full legal status to First Nations women and their descendants born prior to 1985.

Indigenous Sen. Lillian Dyck was in tears in the Senate over the proposal.

She calls it a very good move on the part of the government and a giant leap forward for the legal recognition of First Nations women.

In June, the Senate unanimously passed a change to the bill designed to ensure Indigenous women and their descendants have full Indian status like Indian men do.

The House of Commons, however, did not originally accept the Senate’s proposal, with the government saying it needed more time to examine the potential impacts.

The Canadian Press