OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising that a re-elected Liberal government will introduce legislation to ensure federal laws are harmonized with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The promise is aimed at breaking an impasse in the Senate, where Conservative senators have been holding up a private member's bill on the same issue from New Democrat MP Romeo Saganash — and in the process running out the clock on a slew of other private member's bills.
To kill Saganash's bill, Conservative senators have been using procedural manoeuvres to prevent the Senate from dealing with any private members' business.
Among the other bills at risk of dying is one introduced by former interim Tory leader Rona Ambrose that would require judges to take training in sexual-assault law.
Unless passed by the Senate by the end of this week, when the House of Commons is expected to break for the summer and subsequent election campaign, the bills are effectively dead.
Trudeau's promise to reintroduce Sagnash's bill as a government bill could allow the Senate to set aside that issue and get on with the other bills.