Fast for Bill C-262

On Ash Wednesday many in the Healing at the Wounding Place network entered into a day of prayer and fasting for the passage of Bill C-262 which is currently before the Senate. Jodi and some others have embarked on a prolonged fast. Here is an article by Zoë Ducklow about this initiative.

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Fast, Pray and Call your Senator

Bill C-262 is an “Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations

Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” It’s a simple bill simply legislating that the

government will actually begin and be held to the work to start implementing UNDRIP.

Tabled by MP Romeo Saganash, the Bill passed through the requisite three readings in

Parliament, thanks to a remarkable push from Canadians. Now it’s in the Senate, waiting for

their confirmation.

The Senate needs to send the bill to committee, where committee members will research,

analyse, review and consider all aspects of the bill before reporting back to the Senate for a final

reading and vote.

It is urgent that the Senate send Bill C-262 to committee so it can be dealt with before the

session adjourns for the summer. If it doesn’t get into committee by the end of March 2019,

there’s a serious risk the Bill will expire on the floor.

The Canadian Council of Churches, CBWC, Mennonite Church Canada, Kairos have joined to

invite their members to fast, pray and write to senators to get this bill to committee by the end of

March. Join in! Here’s a guide from Kairos for getting in touch with Senators.

Jodi Spargur shared this

reflection before starting her fast:

I fast as a practice of prayer. I pray as an act of faith in God in the face of a political landscape

in which I have no faith. I will ask for a miracle, that Bill C-262 will make it thru the Senate, and

then begin to loose the bonds of oppression that are in the fabric of this country and have

benefited me. I will hunger and thirst and allow my body to teach my heart and mind to hunger

and thirst for justice and right relationship.

The Senate has spent an hour or so over five meetings discussing the bill. Many senators have

spoken in support of the bill, and a few have asked questions.

The primary concern from Senators asking questions seems to be whether the Bill will

automatically give Indigenous peoples veto power. It’s a concern related to the phrase ‘free prior

and informed consent’ in the Declaration.

Senators answering questions about this have said no, it won’t automatically award veto power,

and no the Declaration will not automatically become law. They also reiterate that these

questions are the sort that would be researched in depth in committee, so let’s send it to

committee for thorough analysis and consideration. The motion to send to committee has not

yet been made.

To stay up to date on the bill, here’s it’s official page: Bill C-262 Status

Find the senators from your province here:

Jodi Spargur