In spite of much opposition from the NDP, Liberals, and some First
Nations groups, Bill S-2 was voted in yesterday, June 11. The purpose of
the law it may one day become is to set out rules for both divorce and
separation rights on reserves. One particular issue it will deal with is
how property is divided.
The reason this was deemed necessary is that provincial divorce law has
no jurisdiction on reserves. The laws that do govern them do not cover
the issues present in divorce.
The Conservatives pushing the bill highlighted its protection of
women’s rights and gender equality. Those were against it state that the
bill did not have a wide enough scope when dealing with the issue as a
whole. In general the opposition was in favor of promoting a plan that
better ensures the rights of aboriginal women.
Now that the act has passed its third reading awaits the needed Royal Assent before becoming a law.