Hon. Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul’s, Lib.): Mr. Speaker,
Today in Winnipeg, provincial cabinet ministers joined Canada’s Aboriginal leaders for a two-day meeting on missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls.
Three federal cabinet ministers were invited. None are attending.
AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo has said: “Striking an independent and inclusive national public commission of inquiry would demonstrate a clear and focused commitment to achieve positive change for and with indigenous people”.
Will the government commit today to call a public enquiry on the tragedy of over 600 missing and murdered Aboriginal women?
Ms. Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice, CPC): Mr. Speaker,
The Minister of Justice and the Minister of Public Safety were in Regina to meet with their provincial and territorial counterparts where this matter was a major topic of discussion. Our government attaches great importance to the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women. We are working with those counterparts to further develop strategies, coordinate efforts and share expertise on the issue.
In January 2012, a comprehensive missing woman report was released providing 52 recommendations. The province has recently acknowledged that our government has already implemented most of those recommendations at the federal level. We are taking this seriously.