Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
Little Buffalo Lake, AB
3536 - 106 Street
Edmonton, AB T6J 1A4
December 2, 1991
Enclosed for your information is a copy of a letter recently sent to the United Nations by MP Ross Harvey regarding lack of follow-up on the U.N. Lubicon decision. Enclosed also is a copy of a related question submitted to the Canadian Government by Mr. Harvey.
November 28, 1991, letter from Federal MP Ross Harvey to Dr. Janos Fodor, Consul General, Republic of Hungary, Special Rapporteur for Follow-up on Views of the Human Rights Committee, United Nations, 8 East 75th Street, New York, New York, USA FAX No. 212-755-5395
Dear Dr. Fodor:
RE: COMMUNICATION NO. 167/1984 BERNARD OMINAYAK, CHIEF OF THE LUBICON LAKE BAND v. CANADA (REPORT OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE, Forty-fifth session, Supplement No. 40 (A45/40), Volume II, pages 1-30)
I respectfully request that the Human Rights Committee re-examine this matter on an urgent basis to ascertain what action, if any, has been taken by the Canadian government to remedy the violations. You will recall that the United Nations Human Rights Committee adopted its views on this matter on 26 March 1990. The Committee's views concluded with the following paragraph:
"Historical inequities, to which the State party refers, and certain more recent developments threaten the way of life and culture of the Lubicon lake Band, and constitute a violation of article 27 so long as they continue. That State party proposes to rectify the situation by a remedy that the Committee deems appropriate within the meaning of article 2 of the Covenant."
Should the Human Rights Committee follow-up its 1990 finding, it will find that there is abundant evidence that the plight of the members of the Lubicon Lake Nation is more desperate than ever. The "remedy" previously deemed "appropriate" has, in the event, been ineffective and singularly unsuccessful.
Dr. Fodor, there is no doubt in my mind that the "historic inequities" and especially "more recent developments" which the Committee found "threaten the way of life and culture" of the Band and which "constitute a violation of article 27 so long as they continue" do continue a full twenty months after the Committee's findings.
Since the Committee's views are frequently misrepresented by Canadian government officials, the Human Rights Committee ought to ensure that "detailed information on the follow-up" by fully reported in the Committee's Annual Report (in accordance with paragraph 2 of the measures adopted on 24 July 1990 at the thirty-ninth session of the Human Rights Committee regarding monitoring of compliance with its views under article 5, paragraph 4, of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Annex XI, Volume II, 1990 Report of the Human Rights Committee)).
In the event that you have already initiated follow-up procedures with the Canadian government (in the words of the above-mentioned measures) "to ensure effective remedies for violations of the Covenant", I would ask -- given the urgency of this matter -- that you redouble your efforts.
Finally, in your continuing communications with the Canadian government, it would be deeply appreciated by all Canadians concerned with this matter should you urge the Canadian government to abandon its "take-it-or-leave-it" offer made to the Lubicon on January 24, 1989 -- an offer which demonstrably has not proved to be a remedy -- and instead begin negotiations on adequate economic development provisions and compensation for decades of abuse inflicted upon the Lubicon people by successive federal and provincial Canadian governments.
I am confident you and members of the Committee recognize that the good reputation of the Committee is called into question when it makes no public pronouncement sin the face of acknowledged human rights violations which persist. I am certain that the Committee would not want to be perceived to be presiding silently over continuing and tragic violations of human rights.
I look forward to learning of your efforts in following up this most grievous case, that of the Lubicon Lake Nation.
I remain, Sir,
Member of Parliament (Edmonton East)
Order Paper and Notice Paper, Third Session, 34th Parliament, Wednesday, November 27 1991
No. 183 -- Mr. Harvey (Edmonton East) -- November 26, 1991
With respect to the United Nations Human Rights Committee views concerning Communication Number 167/1984 Bernard Ominayak, Chief of the Lubicon lake Band v. Canada, has the government received since October 1, 1990, any request or requests for further information from the Special Rapporteur for Follow-up on Views of the Human Rights Committee, and, if so, (a) when did the government receive such request(s), (b) has the government responded to such request(s), and if so (i) when did the government reply (ii) what did the government reply?
NOTE: Response requested within 45 days