August 28, 2014
The presidents of Canada’s provincial labour federations are joining growing demands for government action to address the missing and murdered aboriginal women crisis.
“This is a national emergency and we need action from the federal and provincial governments, right away,” said Manitoba Federation of Labour President Kevin Rebeck to a meeting of Canada’s national labour leaders. “Canada is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and the poverty, abuse, and racism faced unfairly by aboriginal women cannot be allowed to continue.”
In May, the RCMP revealed that 1,181 aboriginal women had either been killed or gone missing between 1980 and 2012. In Manitoba, the case is especially alarming where half of the province’s female murder victims over the same time period were aboriginal, according to the RCMP.
“We support the call for a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women, but an inquiry should not be used as an excuse to delay taking immediate action,” said Prince Edward Island Federation of Labour President Carl Pursey, who is chairing a meeting of provincial and territorial labour federation presidents being held alongside the annual Council of the Federation meeting in Charlottetown.
Canada’s premiers met with First Nations organizations today. The federal government has refused repeated requests by opposition parties and provincial leaders for a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.