In September 2017 a gathering for those affected by the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls phenomenon was held at Maht Mahs. The national inquiry collected statements at the event. (Eric Plummer photo)
This year the Missing and Murdered Inquiry into Indigenous Women and Girls concluded, but Aboriginal women continue to go missing and fall victim to homicide at a significantly higher rate than the Canadian average. Beyond the inquiry, what else needs to be done to make this country safer for Indigenous women?
Rachel Blaney, NDP:
After the Conservatives refused to address the tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women for almost a decade, the Liberal government finally launched a long overdue inquiry – but then set it up with a limited mandate, and failed to adequately care for the families who courageously shared their stories. The Inquiry’s finding of a genocide against Indigenous women in Canada demands action from all Canadians. I will work in partnership with Indigenous women, the families of the missing and murdered, and communities to implement the Inquiry’s Calls for Justice and the calls to action brought forward by communities.
Peter Shwarzhoff, Liberal:
Liberals are committed to ending this ongoing tragedy. We accept the findings of the report and have started to develop an action plan, as recommended. It will be developed in partnership with First Nations and Metis governments as well as with the families of the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
We have started on the path to reconciliation and although we know we have a very long way to go, Perry Bellegarde has said we have already made more progress than any other government in the last 50 years. We are committed to closing the gap.
Mark de Bruijn, Green:
Greens will re-introduce legislation to enshrine UNDRIP and will implement the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Greens will legislate housing as a fundamental human right, and will prioritize high quality, safe and affordable housing. A Green national transportation strategy, including services to rural and remote communities, will ensure access to reliable, affordable transportation. Under the leadership of Indigenous organizations, Greens support the formal inclusion of traditional healing within mental wellness programs. The Green budget allocates $10 billion for free college and university tuition and removes the 2% cap on increases in education funding for Indigenous students.
Shelley Downey, Conservative:
I have picked up female hitchhikers while traveling around the north island. Why? To help them get to their destination safely. I have even rented rooms for a night so that they were safe until they could continue their travels the next day. Access to reliable transportation would certainly keep all women from harm. In addition, the expansion of cell service into remote areas and communities provides the ability to call for help.