Eliminating sexism from Indian Act will cost $407-million a year
Removing the last vestiges of sexism from the Indian Act will cost the federal government more than $400-million a year, according to a new report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer.
On Monday, the House of Commons passed a significantly amended version of the bill it drafted more than a year ago to address a Quebec court’s demand that some of the sexism, which was deemed to be unconstitutional, be excised from the Act. Currently, in some instances status can be conferred by fathers on their children but not by their mothers.
The new report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) released Tuesday says the immediate effect of Bill S-3 will be to allow between 28,000 and 35,000 additional Canadians to register as status Indians, 90 per cent of whom are expected to do so.The addition of those people is expected to cost the government $19-million in one-time administrative costs and $55-million a year for the benefits and tax breaks that are provided to status Indians.
But the Senate pointed out, as it studied the bill over the past year, that the new legislation would not remove all of the sexism from the act that governs the relationship between the First Nations and the government of Canada. Even when Bill S-3 is passed into law, people who were fathered by status men before Sept. 4, 1951, can obtain status and pass it on to their offspring, but status women who married non-status men and had children before that date cannot. – Globe and Mail
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The Canadian Senate wants to have Bill S-3 extend status to anyone that has an indigenous ancestor…period. There would not be any cut-off date. One hundred and fifty years? Two hundred years? More?
How much more would that cost? Nobody knows exactly.
$407 million for an additional 28,000 to 35,000 Canadians registering as status Indians under the the government’s Bill S-3.
Under the Senates amended Bill S-3, extending status to anyone that has an indigenous ancestor would be expected to register 270,000 as status Indians. That is 10 times the government’s Bill S-3 numbers. I think the cost would also be 10 times the $407 million annual cost. To remove sexism from the Indian Act entirely would cost about $4 billion annually.
Asking if we can afford that is not racism. Its being financially responsible.