December 22nd, 2014

POLITICAL LOWLIGHTS OF 2014 – #9: Conservatives refuse to call an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women

In 2014, we saw a Conservative government plagued by scandals, out of touch with challenges facing Canadians and preoccupied with photo-ops and their own partisan interests. Meanwhile, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals fail to hold Conservatives to account and, after two years, we still have no idea where they stand on key issues.

A year’s worth of scandals and ineptitude condensed into our annual list of the top political lowlights of the year... LOWLIGHT #9: Conservatives refuse to call an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women

In December, Rinelle Harper, the sixteen-year-old victim of a vicious attack, joined the growing chorus of voices calling for a national inquiry into the cases of over 1,200 missing and murdered Indigenous women. But her plea, like so many before her, has fallen on deaf ears.

In fact, in his year-end interviews, Stephen Harper admitted that an inquiry “isn’t really high on our radar.” Despite the fact that Indigenous women and girls are seven times more likely than non-Indigenous women to be murdered, the Prime Minister does not think anyone should view this as a “sociological phenomenon.”

To be clear: in the past 30 years, 1,200 Indigenous women and girls have been murdered or have disappeared in Canada, yet the Prime Minister refuses to acknowledge that there might be a systemic problem.

The Conservatives stand alone in their belief that an inquiry would accomplish nothing. Provincial and territorial governments, as well as municipal leaders have called for an inquiry, along with Indigenous organizations like the Assembly of First Nations and the Native Women’s Association of Canada.

Canadians deserve better. And after nine years of Stephen Harper, Canadians just can’t afford to wait for Justin Trudeau to get ready.

Tom Mulcair’s New Democrats can be trusted to hold Conservatives to account while fighting for families and proposing common sense solutions for issues they are facing every day.