APTN National News
A Liberal MP says an NDP idea to add a reference to Indigenous treaties to the oath MPs swear before taking office is “kinda cute.”
Liberal MP Hedy Fry said the idea, proposed by NDP Cree MP Romeo Saganash, wouldn’t accomplish much if implemented.
“I don’t know that it has any clout to it,” said Fry. “It’s going to be the governments that are going to have to honour and respect that, but it’s kinda cute.”
The text of the oath is contained in schedule 5 of the Constitution and every elected MP must take the oath before sitting and voting in the House of Commons.
Earlier this week, four NDP MPs recognized the treaties signed between Indigenous Peoples and the Crown during their swearing-in ceremonies.
The MPs Pierre Nantel, Georgina Jolibois and Niki Ashton chose to follow Romeo Saganash’s historic lead in recognizing the treaties during their swearing-in.
It’s a move that the new Minister of Veterans Affairs Kent Hehr supports.
“I like the way they’re going and I like the way they’re thinking, I think we have to take that into a whole government approach,” he said.
Conservative MP Tony Clement wasn’t so supportive.
When asked what he thought about the change, he said, “I’ve already taken my oath, the oath is sovereign.”
Saganash says he doesn’t believe it necessarily requires a constitutional change to amend the text. He says it remains unclear whether the change could be done through federal legislation, or if it would require the re-opening of the Constitution.