Statement by the Official Opposition on Stephen Harper’s refusal to launch an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women

Official Opposition Aboriginal Affairs critic Jean Crowder (Nanaimo – Cowichan) and Status of Women critic Niki Ashton (Churchill) made the following statement on Stephen Harper’s stubborn refusal to launch an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women:

“In a recent year-end interview, the Prime Minister once again closed the door on an inquiry into the 1,200 Indigenous women that have gone missing or been murdered over the last 30 years. In doing so, he also sent a clear message to Aboriginal people that their concerns are not a priority for this government.

"The Prime Minister's comment, that an inquiry "isn't high on our radar to be honest", was callous. What will it take to convince this government that something must be done? What is their reason for ignoring the voices of thousands, including Rinelle Harper, the young victim of a brutal attack this fall?"

“In Canada, Aboriginal women are seven times more likely to be murdered than non-Aboriginal women. This is unacceptable, and the Prime Minister needs to accept that this violence is systemic and we need to deal with the root causes.

“I would ask that the Prime Minister to listen to the families of the Missing and Murdered, to First Nations and Aboriginal leaders, to provincial and municipal governments and do right by announcing an Inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.

“Too many lives have already been lost, and too many continue to be at stake. It's time for action and that includes an Inquiry."