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Bill C-398

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2nd Session, 36th Parliament,
48 Elizabeth II, 1999

The House of Commons of Canada

BILL C-398

An Act to provide compensation to First Nations veterans on a comparable basis to that given to other war veterans

      Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the First Nations Veterans Compensation Act.


2. The following definitions apply in this Act.

tion plan''
« régime d'indemnisa-

``compensation plan'' means the plan referred to in section 3.

``First Nations veteran''
« ancien combattant des premières nations »

``First Nations veteran'' means a person who is

      (a) a veteran as defined in the War Veterans Allowances Act, and

      (b) an Indian as defined in the Indian Act, a Métis, an Innu or other prescribed First Nations person.

« ministre »

``Minister'' means the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Minister to prepare compensation plan

3. The Minister, in consultation with the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development shall prepare a compensation plan for First Nations veterans that places First Nations veterans in a comparable position with respect to compensation for their service as veterans who were not First Nations persons.

Elements of plan

4. (1) The compensation plan must include:

    (a) an offer of equitable compensation in the form of

      (i) a grant of land equivalent to the grant of land made to other veterans, or

      (ii) financial compensation in an amount equivalent to such a right,

as elected by the First Nations veteran;

    (b) a payment of a certain sum equivalent to the compensation and other benefits, other than grants of land, that were offered to other veterans than First Nations veterans;

    (c) a payment of a certain sum to adequately compensate for the delay in proper and full recognition of the service to Canada by First Nations veterans and the delay in giving them compensation equivalent to that given to other veterans;

    (d) provision that the compensation re ferred to in paragraphs (a) to (c) shall be available

      (i) to First Nations veterans who are surviving on January 1, 2000 or,

      (ii) in respect of a person who was a First Nations veteran, but who is not surviving on January 1, 2000, to any person who was a spouse of the veteran as prescribed by the regulations, or a deemed spouse of the veteran, as provided in subsection 2(3) of the War Veterans Allowances Act who is surviving on January 1, 2000;

    (e) any provision necessary to ensure that families of deceased First Nations veterans receive equal treatment to families of all other deceased veterans;

    (f) provision for the erection of a war memorial on or near to Parliament Hill, designed in consultation with representa tives of First Nations organizations, that recognizes the service of First Nations war veterans and provides a memorial for those of them who gave their lives in the service of Canada during the wars, in respect of which allowances are paid under the War Veterans Allowances Act.

    (g) provisions for consultations with the Royal Canadian Legion to ensure that the memorial referred to in paragraph (f) be included in the ceremonies traditionally carried out on Remembrance Day each year and that First Nations veterans be appropri ately represented at the ceremonies;

    (h) an undertaking that First Nations veter ans be appropriately represented in any delegation of veterans that represents Cana da at any event outside Canada;

    (i) provision for a scholarship to allow for studies in First Nations matters to be established in honour of First Nations veterans;

    (j) such other matters that the Minister, in consultation with the Minister of Veterans Affairs, considers necessary or desirable to give equitable treatment and recognition to First Nations veterans; and

    (k) a draft for legislation to bring the provisions covered by paragraphs (a) to (j) into effect.

Public apology

(2) The compensation plan shall also provide for a public apology to be made by the Prime Minister on behalf of the Government of Canada to the First Nations people for the disparate treatment their veterans have received in the past.


5. The Minister may make regulations prescribing anything that, by this Act, is to be prescribed.

Presentation to Parliament

6. (1) The Minister shall prepare the compensation plan and cause it to be laid before both Houses of Parliament on any of the first three days on which the House sits following April 1, 2000.

Referral to committee

(2) The compensation plan, on being laid before the House of Commons, is automatically referred to the standing committee appointed by the House to deal with matters relating to First Nations people and the committee shall report on it within 90 days of the referral or such longer period as the House may direct.