December 9, 2015
The Federal Government has taken the first step toward filling it’s promise of an inquiry into the fate of more than 1200 murdered and missing Aboriginal women. Read more details in this Globe and Mail story.
The Government of Manitoba issued the following statement in response to the Federal announcement:
The provincial government strongly supports the government of Canada’s move to hold a public inquiry into this country’s missing and murdered indigenous women, Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson said today.
“I am encouraged the federal government is moving quickly toward the national inquiry that Manitoba has been requesting for many years,” Minister Robinson said. “While we still would like to see further details, today’s announcement shows they are moving in the right direction.”
Manitoba has again demonstrated the high priority it has put on a national inquiry and is represented at today’s Ottawa announcement by a small delegation that includes family members of missing women, the minister said.
Minister Robinson noted that Manitoba is the only province in Canada that has been working directly with the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women, and other provinces are now emulating that example.
Over a number of years, the province has taken several actions to support these families including:
• in 2009, the province called on the federal government to reform the Criminal Code to remove inefficiencies that hinder criminal investigations, and to take a leadership role in co-ordinating national efforts to end the tragedy of missing and murdered women;
• in 2010, the province hosted Wiping Away the Tears – now an annual event – where 17 families of Manitoba’s missing and murdered women shared their stories with the goal of developing new policies and improving resources for victims and their families;
• in 2012, the province introduced the Missing Persons Act, which provides police the authority to quickly access personal information in missing person cases where they do not suspect a crime has been committed; and
• in February 2015, Premier Greg Selinger attended the National Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls alongside Indigenous leadership, premiers, ministers and family members to discuss a national framework with necessary action and prevention required to eliminate incidents of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls across the country.