Bill C-292, also known as the Act to Implement the Kelowna Accord, was passed in the House of Commons on March 22.
The Bill was introduced after the Conservative government shot down the original Kelowna Accord signed in the fall of 2005 at the First Minister’s meeting by unilaterally deciding to provide less than $400 million of the $5.1 billion agreement.
The Kelowna Accord was set up to tackle housing, health and education issues in Aboriginal communities across the country.
Although the passage of Bill C-292 does not compel the Harper government to fund the commitments of the Kelowna Accord, Aboriginal groups such as the Assembly of First Nations have strongly urged all Canadians to show solidarity with Aboriginal peoples and press the government to implement the commitments of the Accord.
“First Nations want to express their appreciation to the opposition parties who showed their unwavering support for Bill C-292,” Phil Fontaine, AFN National Chief said in a statement. “It is clear to us and to all Canadians that the majority of elected representatives support the targets and objectives which will help improve the quality of life for First Nations.”