What’s all the fuss with the Omnibus?

The Ktunaxa Nation will host an omnibus bill information session on February 2 in Cranbrook

There were honks and handshakes all around for a gathering of Idle No More protesters on Friday

There were honks and handshakes all around for a gathering of Idle No More protesters on Friday

The Ktunaxa Nation is holding an information session for members to learn about the federal government’s omnibus Bill C-45 on February 2.

The session will be led by Ktunaxa Nation member Rob Louie, a former member of the B.C. Law Association and a consultant on legal issues for the nation. He will be joined by Anna Natanik, a fellow Ktunaxa Nation member and law professor.

Louie said it’s important for Ktunaxa Nation members to understand what the omnibus bill includes, because not all of it is negative.

“The omnibus bill covers a number of legal areas,” Louie said. “There’s different interests for different parties.”

The session will cover six specific pieces of the large bill that will affect Ktunaxa Nation members directly. They are the Criminal Code amendment to address elder abuse, the First Nations Financial Transparency Act, land surrenders and referendums, the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act, First Nations Elections Act and safe drinking water.

“They’re all important,” Louie, explained, but he said the amendments to safe drinking water will have a huge impact on the Ktunaxa Nation.

The First Nations Financial Transparency Act will change the way chiefs and council operate.

“Part of this act includes the legal requirement for chief and council to disclose their salary,” Louie said.

Under the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act, spouses will have greater property rights. Under the current system, homes on reserves are generally owned by a male First Nations member and ultimately the band itself. This becomes an issue in circumstances of relationship breakdown or the death of a partner. Perviously, women and children faced uncertainty when these situations rose as homes on reserves are exempt from some common-law rights under the Indian Act. The new act will change that to allow more rights for spouses, particularly non-native spouses.

“In my professional opinion there are some positive changes to the law, but there are some concerns,” Louie said.

He cites the changes to elder abuse law under the Criminal Code as a positive that many can agree on.

“How can you argue against something like that?” Louie said.

The Idle No More protests sprung up in the wake of the C-45 omnibus bill. Louie said the protests have grown to be against the entire bill, and the information session will help Ktunaxa Nation members understand the complicated details that will impact them directly.

“What I want to do is bring it back to the bread and butter of the omnibus legislation,” he said. “There are actually some positive measures.”

The meeting will take place at the Ktunaxa Nation Council gymnasium on February 2 starting at 9:30 a.m. Lunch will be provided and transportation is being arranged. Register by January 25 by emailing Louie at rob-louie@hotmail.com.

The session will begin as a lecture, then go to a round table discussion.

Afterwards, Louie said he and Natanik are interested in hearing from the public how they should proceed.

He expects the session to be the first of many meetings on the issue.

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Cranbrook Arts has opened the doors of their  new gallery space to the public with their inaugural exhibit, Kootenay’s Best.
‘Kootenay’s Best’ opens Cranbrook Arts’ new gallery

This exhibit has been in the works for the past several months and features the work of more than 50 emerging and established artists from across the Kootenays

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read