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March 19th, 2024

NDP MP Leah Gazan’s study on life-saving Red Dress Alert to begin

OTTAWA – On Tuesday, NDP MP Leah Gazan’s study into a Red Dress Alert will begin at the Status of Women committee. The committee will hear from family members, survivors and grassroots leaders to provide recommendations to the government on the best ways to implement the alert and to save lives.

After all parties in Parliament adopted Gazan’s motion to declare the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit individuals (MMIWG2S) a Canada-wide emergency, Gazan has spearheaded the effort to implement a Red Dress Alert, alongside family members, survivors of violence, and advocates. This alert would notify the public when an Indigenous woman, girl or two-spirit person goes missing, similar to an Amber Alert, so they can be brought back to their loved ones safely.

“Due to the legacy of colonialism and genocide, Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people are disproportionately affected by gender-based violence and more likely to go missing or be murdered,” said Gazan. “For far too long, consecutive Liberal and Conservative governments have ignored this crisis and done nothing to stop it. Through this study, we will hear from family members who have had their loved ones murdered or gone missing, from advocates on the front lines, and from grassroots leaders on how to best implement the Red Dress Alert so we can save lives.”

In February 2023, Gazan first urged the government to implement a Red Dress Alert in a letter to the Minister of Public Safety, and she later secured funding for consultations in the 2023 federal budget. She has since been working alongside family members, survivors, grassroots leaders and advocates to ensure their voices are heard in the implementation of the alert system. This committee study will bring the Red Dress Alert one step closer to completion.

“The Liberals cannot delay on getting this done and getting it right,” said Gazan. “That’s why this study is so crucial to consult with those individuals and groups impacted by violence and ensure the Red Dress Alert saves lives. The NDP along with family members, survivors, grassroots leaders, and advocates have fought for it every step of the way and we won’t stop until the human rights of Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people are upheld, and their safety ensured.”