NDP motion to see Commons recognize residential schools as genocide fails

OTTAWA — An NDP motion calling on the federal government to recognize the residential schools policy pursued by Canada for over a century as genocide against Indigenous Peoples was unsuccessful.

NDP MP Leah Gazan asked fellow lawmakers to unanimously acknowledge the institutions' history as the deliberate, systematic destruction of a cultural group.

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The motion did not receive unanimous consent, and therefore was not adopted by the House of Commons.

It was not immediately clear which parties or MPs disagreed with allowing the motion to stand, as a recorded vote is not held for motions that require unanimous consent to be adopted.

In a tweet published this afternoon, Gazan says it was Conservative MP John Barlow who denied consent for the motion, and she criticized the Conservative party.

When asked about whether she would support the motion Wednesday, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett pointed out the prime minister has acknowledged the 2019 finding of the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls that "what happened amounts to genocide."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 10, 2021.

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