27 March 2017
South Africa's experience with reconciliation has made it a stronger and more prosperous nation. South Africa's experience can provide valuable lessons for Canada as we continue on our own path to reconciliation with our Indigenous Peoples.
Today, the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould began a working visit to South Africa that will include meetings with the South African Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, former President Kgalema Motlanthe, Justices of the Constitutional Court, and the Chief Commissioners of the South African Human Rights Commission and the South African Law Reform Commission. The principal purpose of this trip is to gain insight relevant to the work of Canada's Ministerial Working Group which has been convened to examine relevant federal laws, policies, and operational practices to help ensure the Crown is meeting its constitutional and international obligations with respect to Indigenous Peoples.
Minister Wilson-Raybould will also hold a round-table meeting with leading civil society organizations to discuss the role of civil society in addressing injustices of the past. In addition, she will speak at the University of Cape Town Law School about the Canadian and South African experiences with truth and reconciliation.
Canada and South Africa share a long-standing and broad relationship, anchored in shared values, shared histories, and strong people-to-people ties.
Canada was a leading international advocate promoting the establishment of a multi-ethnic, multi-racial, democratic society in South Africa
South Africa's 1996 Constitution and Bill of Rights draw on Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Canadian development assistance to South Africa includes direct government-to-government assistance as well as support to civil society organizations and multilateral institutions with the goal of enhancing democratic governance. This is helping build accountable public institutions and improve the ability of public departments, institutions and agencies to deliver services to marginalized groups.
"Canada was among the international voices in the fight against apartheid in South Africa and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms served as a model for South Africa's constitution. South Africa's path toward reconciliation offers many important insights from which Canada can learn in reviewing its own laws and policies to establish a nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples."
The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Source: Department of Justice Canada