Placing UN declarations above Canadian law will create chaos
Attempting to layer UNDRIP and FPIC over existing constitutional law will produce nothing but chaos, states a recent study from the Fraser Institute.
Tom Flanagan, a Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Distinguished Fellow, School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, writes that “Prime Minister Trudeau will be well advised to observe what has happened in the wake of British Columba’s Bill 41 and walk back his promise to introduce legislation incorporating UNDRIP into Canadian law,” in a paper called Squaring the Circle: Adopting UNDRIP in Canada.
The United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) was approved by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007. Its most controversial feature is a call for “free, prior, and informed consent” (FPIC) by Indigenous peoples before economic development projects can take place on lands they inhabit or to which they may have a claim. Because UNDRIP is neither a convention nor a treaty, it is not legally binding unless it is adopted in legislation.
Canada opposed UNDRIP at the United Nations because FPIC and similar sweeping provisions in the document are not consistent with Canadian constitutional law. The government of Stephen Harper adopted it in 2010 with the proviso that it was a statement of aspirations but not legally binding. The same position was taken by the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.