NDP motion to see Commons recognize residential schools as genocide fails

A motion from Winnipeg NDP MP Leah Gazan that would have officially recognized residential schools as part of an attempted to commit genocide against Indigenous people was yesterday shut down by Liberals and Conservatives.

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.

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

A recorded vote is not held for motions that require consent to be adopted. In tweets after her motion was denied, Gazan said Conservative MP John Barlow denied consent as did a voice from the government side of the Commons. MP John Gerretsen was the only Liberal in the House at the time.

When asked about whether she would support the motion Wednesday, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett didn't answer but said 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.

The Canadian Press

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