Wednesday, January 19, 2011

An Update on Bill C-3 - January 19 2011 - What's Next?

Dear Readers; after checking my blog stats, I can see that traffic has been heavy on my previous Bill C-3 blogs, especially the one that reads as an update. I will try to oblige, but please forgive any annoying repetition.

March 11, 2010 - First Reading (that's where the Minister or someone like that introduces the bill into the House).

March 26, 2010 - Second Reading

March 29, 2010 - Debates

April 1, 2010 - Studied by Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (AAON)

April 13,15,20,22,27, 2010 - Meetings of AAON re Bill C-3 where they heard from witnesses sharing their concerns about the bill.

April 29, 2010 - AAON submitted and debated their report which included a variety of amendments they had adopted to ensure that the bill remedied all gender inequity instead of just a minor part of it.

May 25, 2010 - AAON continued debate of report.

Parliament then recessed for the summer.

October 26, 2010 - Report Stage - Report was debated again. Three motions were voted on and passed:

(1) Motion #1 dealt with minor amendments to the wording related to how INAC would report on the effects of the bill once it has been implemented;

(2) Motion #2 would restore the previous section 9 which had been deleted at AAON. This section provided Canada with an insulation from financial liability for claims which would come from women and children who had been wrongly excluded from the Act.

(3) Motion #3 essentially was to approve the bill as amended by the previous two motions.

All three motions were approved which meant that Bill C-3 (as amended)would go forward for Third reading and debates.

Nov.22, 2010 - Third Reading and debates

The bill was therefore passed as amended. Once it passed in the House, it literally sped through the process in the Senate being introduced on Nov.23, 2010 and passed Dec.9, 2010.

Dec.15, 2010 - Bill C-3 receives Royal Assent.

Feb. 2011 - The law will come into force on or after April 5, 2010 by a date to be set by the Governor in Council. When I called INAC yesterday they said that the coming into force would be delayed and not completed until the end of January or February 2011.

All this legislative information can be found at the following link:

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) has now posted new information about those who think they might qualify for status and the new process it will use to handle applications for status. Their link can be found here:


INAC provides three basic criteria that gives potential applicants a sense of whether or not they will be entitled under the new amendment:

(1) Did you grandmother lose Indian status because she married a non-Indian?

(2) Is one of your parents registered or entitled to be registered under section 6(2) of the Indian Act? and

(3) Were you (the applicant) or one of your siblings born after Sept.4, 1951?

If you can answer yes to all of these questions, then it is very likely (although INAC does not guarantee) that you will qualify for status. So, some of you might be thinking that you meet this criteria and want to know what to do next? INAC has provided contact information so you can ask them questions directly:

INAC Public Enquiries Contact Centre
Email: InfoPubs@ainc-inac.gc.ca
Phone: (toll-free) 1-800-567-9604
Fax: 1-866-817-3977
TTY: (toll-free) 1-866-553-0554

I have called them several times and they answer the phone quickly and the people who are working the telephone lines had up to date information and were very helpful. They did explain to me that although I have already applied for status, there will be NEW application forms with NEW requirements. Canada will make the forms available at the following locations:

Online: (Once the Act comes into force) (so likely January or February 2011)
By mail: Call 1-800-567-9604 to request an application package.
In person: At any INAC Regional office or call 1-800-567-9604.

The kind of status card that Bill C-3 registrants will receive (if eligible) is a Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) card. It does not change the type of benefits, but does require additional documentation from applicants not requested of non-Bill C-3 applicants. The following list is what INAC has indicated will be required:

- Original birth certificate (listing parents names) (often referred to as "long-form")

- Two passport style photographs

- Original piece of valid identification (i.e. - driver's licence, passport, government issued ID)

- Guarantor Declaration for SCIS

And if applicable:

- Legal change of name document or marriage certificate

- Custody Court Order

- Statutory Declaration Form(s).

Please also keep in mind that INAC is changing the application for Bill C-3 applicants to a "mail-in" process only. That means the original documents they require MUST be mailed in to INAC and you will HOPEFULLY receive them back within a month or so.

I don't know about any of you, but I don't feel comfortable mailing INAC my Driver's License (as a local police officer told me it is against the law to drive without it on your person). Similarly, the thought of my passport (at March break time) being held up at INAC for weeks maybe months is not overly user friendly or considerate.

INAC has also provided some time lines for processing applications. They are as follows:

Act comes into force and applications posted online = 1 month

Letter confirming entitlement (assuming all docs provided with applic) = no time specified

Issuance of SCIS card number = 10-12 weeks after receipt of Letter of entitlement

Entire Process from start (application) to finish (receipt of status card) = 4-6 months

So, if the Act comes into Force in February 2011, you apply the next day with all your documents, and INAC confirms you are entitled, you could receive your status card as early as June and as late as August 2011.

The ability to access benefits will start before you receive your card as your Letter of entitlement will provide a number you can use to access health and other benefits.

Also of interest:

(1) Sharon McIvor has filed a claim with the United Nations to have her gender discrimination case heard by the Human Rights Tribunal; and

(2) Merchant Law has filed a class action here in Canada in an attempt to get compensation for all those who will now be registered as per Bill C-3 for lost education benefits, lost taxes, health benefits etc. You will recall that the Bill prohibits any compensation.

Let me know if this is the kind of update you were looking for from my blog.



  1. Just an FYI according to INAC some of those who applied in the past have had their files flagged and as such they will not have to submit a new application. They will be notified when to send their pictures, id and guarentor forms in for further processing. Those whose files have been flagged were apparently informed by mail. So if your address has changed since you applied you would not know if you have been flagged or not
    Also, it is my understanding that the 10-12 weeks allotted for processing of an actual card is over and above the 4-6 months that it will take to be added to the registry.

  2. Hi;
    Thanks for your comment. As I have heard conflicting information from INAC on those issues, I thought it safer to highlight the information they provided on their website.
    Once the process gets started, we will see how it actually pans out.

  3. I'm wondering if you could have your drivers license & passport copied then notarized. I did this for my marriage certificate and it was accepted by INAC. Might be worth a call to find out rather than sending in a drivers license and passport.

  4. Hi all;

    I think the best thing to do is call INAC's information line and ask questions specific to your own situation. INAC has allowed some to use notarized documents and has refused others. Best to get it from the "horse's mouth" so to speak.

  5. Kwey Pam,

    Thanks for this info.

    I cut and pasted this from your blog - are the dates here correct?

    Feb. 2011 - The law will come into force on or after April 5, 2010 by a date to be set by the Governor in Council. When I called INAC yesterday they said that the coming into force would be delayed and not completed until the end of January or February 2011.

  6. Hi Lynn;

    Yes, the dates are correct. INAC confirmed that the coming into force is delayed and won't be in effect until at least February 2011.

  7. Kwey Pam,

    Am I confused about the date April 5, 2010. Should this year be 2011?

    My grandmother was a 6(1)f - do you have any thoughts on this - will I gain status?


  8. My understanding is that the GIC can bring the law into force as of April 5, 2010 (to avoid a legislative gap) or at such other dates he/she determines.

    Bill C-3 ONLY relates to the grandchildren of Indian women who married out - i.e. the grandmother was a s.6(1)(c), the child was a s.6(2) and the grandchildren was a non-status.

    My best guess (not legal advice) is if your grandmother was a s.6(1)(f) that means she had two parents with status. If she married out and had a child (one of your parents??) they were likely registered as a s.6(2) which would make you a non-status Indian due to the second generation cut-off rule which is not dealt with in Bill C-3.

    Please remember that there are many other factors at play which prevents me from giving you a definitive answer - date of birth, adoptions, date of marriage, legitimacy etc etc.

  9. This does not address those children of 6(2)'s one of whose parents are non - aboriginal. aka the second generation cut off.

  10. You are correct. Bill C-3 does not address any other discrimination issue. The second generation cut-off is still very much in force.

  11. Kwey Pam,

    Yes, the April 5, 2010 was confusing. I did not realize they could backdate like that.

    Thanks for the clarity about 6(1)f. I think you are right - I just needed another person to re-tell me. I called INAC and they could not answer the question.

    And yes I understand about other factors. I also know that department policy and pratice also mediates and that the best test is to apply.

    Miigwetch for your help.

  12. Good day , just to let everyone know I applied in early February and have received my drivers lic and other paperwork back but I had not heard back from INAC so I just called them and they informed me that the majority of applications had been sent for review and could not give me any indication when I might expect my status , has anyone run into this . this is going into the eighth month now . thank you , Tony

  13. I have recently called INAC and asked for an expected decission date.
    I am told that the average duration for processing is now 8-10 months.

  14. please help me.....i have applied under the indian act in 2002 and just getting the run around....my sister applied under the new bill c3 18 months ago and is now status?? she was told that her children would get status as well. but I was told that if i go under bill c3 that my children would not get status? please help me here..not knowing if i should apply all over again...not sure if my sister is getting the wrong information or are they giving me the wrong information....will my children qualify if i go under the new bill??

  15. palmater@indigenousnationhood.com is best place to ask about personal fact scenarios.

  16. INAC received my application Feb 15 2011, after one year I do not have my status. I have called numerous times and faxed directly. When I call the Entitlement Office they tell me " my file has been given to Ottawa and is under a further policy review" I meet the criteria to a "T" for bill c3 entitlement. Is anyone else getting the run around? Has anyone rec'd status under Bill C3?

  17. Why don't you e-mail me separately. There are many people who believe they fit Bill C-3 to a T, but sadly are excluded for one of the many exclusionary criteria found in the Act. So many people thought they qualified that it gave INAC a backlog, as not all of the exclusions are well know. The processing time (if you have everything) is 9-12 months. If they are saying that they are doing policy review, this sounds like one of the grey-area files.