Decision of Indigenous Groups to Boycott Council of the Federation Meeting Underscores the Need for Constitutional Reconciliation and Inclusion

The headline on today’s CBC News website says “Indigenous leaders to boycott Monday’s meeting with premiers”. The article outlines how three Indigenous groups, namely, the Assembly of First Nations, the Metis National Council and Tapirit Kanatami, have decided to withdraw from the Council of the Federation meeting where the leaders of the provinces and territories will be meeting because they (the indigenous leaders) are not being recognized as full and equal participants. In my opinion, this article demonstrates the pressing need for Canada’s reconciliation process to recognize the governments of Indigenous peoples in a more formal and constitutional manner.

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David Suzuki and the plea for a constitutional right to a healthy environment

Dr. David Suzuki, that famous Canadian scientist who has used the media to advance his arguments for the protection of the environment, is up to it again. As part of his recently concluded “Blue Dot Tour”, he has pressed for the amendment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to include a “right to a healthy environment” (Newfoundland & Labradaor, TheIndependent.Ca, September 24, 2014). He states that virtually all Canadians would support such an objective.

While I agree with Dr. Suzuki’s overall objectives, I think other types of constitutional reforms may be more effective in achieving the ultimate goal of a clean and healthy environment.

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