July 25, 2013

OTTAWA – New Democrats are condemning Stephen Harper’s Conservatives today for their callous rejection of provincial and territorial leaders’ calls for a national public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women. 

“The Conservatives promised change with their new cabinet but as we can see today, they’re stubbornly continuing the same approach of refusing to consult with First Nations and refusing to work the premiers,” said NDP Aboriginal Affairs critic Jean Crowder (Nanaimo-Cowichan). “Either Stephen Harper doesn’t understand the importance of an inquiry or worse yet, it’s just too low a priority for him to take action.”

The NDP, Human Rights Watch and Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast have repeatedly demanded an open, national inquiry into this tragedy. There are currently over 600 documented cases – and countless undocumented ones – of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls.

“Stephen Harper’s Conservatives now stand alone in denying justice to aboriginal women, their families and their communities,” said NDP Status of Women critic Niki Ashton (Churchill). “It is a national disgrace that women are disappearing and the Conservatives are turning a blind eye. Canadians deserve better.”