Politicians, First Nations leaders meet on missing and murdered aboriginal women

Pressure is mounting on the federal government to take action on missing and murdered aboriginal women, with several premiers and aboriginal leaders meeting in Ottawa today to try to determine what can be done.

OTTAWA — Pressure is mounting on the federal government to take action on missing and murdered aboriginal women, with several premiers and aboriginal leaders meeting in Ottawa today to try to determine what can be done.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has rejected calls for a national inquiry into the nearly 1,200 aboriginal women who have been murdered or gone missing in the last 30 years.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne wishes Harper would attend today’s meeting, but is pleased he’s sending two representatives: Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt and Status of Women Minister Kellie Leitch.

Wynne hopes the federal government will at least provide funding if the provinces, territories and aboriginal leaders agree to take steps such as finding ways for police to better share information and creating a public relations campaign.

Assembly of First Nations national chief Perry Bellegarde says one of the big issues for the provinces and federal government to decide is who will pay for any action they decide to take.

Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod, Greg Selinger of Manitoba and Yukon’s Darrell Pasloski are also expected at the meeting, which will focus on prevention and awareness, community safety, policing and justice responses.

A coalition that includes Amnesty International released a study Thursday saying the federal government ignored 700 recommendations from many studies on how to reduce the number of missing and murdered aboriginal women.

Indigenous women make up 4.3 per cent of Canada’s population, but account for 16 per cent of female homicides and 11.3 per cent of missing women.

Christa Big Canoe, with Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto, says Ottawa’s failure to take the issue seriously is extremely painful for those families that have lost loved ones and are still looking for answers.

“We have to start by setting terms of reference that have meaning, that are going to actually result in change, that are actually going to result in improvements and progress,” said Big Canoe. “Otherwise, we’re just sitting around a table, talking.”

Just Posted

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

EDMONTON — Two federal cabinet ministers are making appearances in Alberta today… Continue reading

San Francisco moves closer to nation’s 1st e-cigarette ban

San Francisco supervisors moved a step closer Tuesday to becoming the first… Continue reading

Who said what about the Liberals’ decision to go ahead with Trans Mountain

OTTAWA — There was swift reaction Tuesday to the decision by the… Continue reading

Take two: Alberta lauds federal re-approval of Trans Mountain pipeline project

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is lauding the federal government’s decision… Continue reading

WATCH: New RDC president has three decades of experience working at colleges and universities

Peter Nunoda says he’s ‘excited’ to help transition the college into a university

Follow the money: Salary cap could spawn NHL trade frenzy

Matt Niskanen wasn’t totally shocked when the Washington Capitals traded him to… Continue reading

Rugby Canada chooses 43-man long list for Pacific Nations Cup tournament

Captain Tyler Ardron, who plays in New Zealand for Super Rugby’s Chiefs,… Continue reading

Paul Simon, Alice Quinn honoured by Poetry Society of America

NEW YORK — Paul Simon doesn’t care much for requests, but he… Continue reading

NFB says Indigenous Action Plan is on track, meets 2020 production targets

MONTREAL — The National Film Board of Canada says it has reached… Continue reading

Take two: Alberta lauds federal re-approval of Trans Mountain pipeline project

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is lauding the federal government’s decision… Continue reading

Business leaders welcome pipeline approval but fear it may not be completed

CALGARY — Ottawa’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion pleased business… Continue reading

Alberta limits debate on bill to strip some public sector bargaining rights

EDMONTON — Alberta’s United Conservative government is limiting debate on a contentious… Continue reading

Blair says more gun-control action needed, signals no new steps before election

OTTAWA — Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair says more must be done… Continue reading

Most Read