By Ray Bidyk, The Star Phoenix – September 4, 2014
I believe it is time for a public inquiry into the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women and children. People want and need answers.
You have those such as Prime Minister Harper who say there will be no inquiry. Justin Trudeau, on the other hand, promises an inquiry only if elected. Not only could that be a year away, but it takes away from the crucial fact that we need answers now.
How many more women and children have to go missing or be murdered before we see action? They are human beings and are someone’s mother, daughter, aunt, niece or cousin. We should not be wasting time debating it as a political issue. This is a human right. Statistics show that most cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women occur in Western Canada. Disturbingly, Saskatchewan has the highest percentage of murdered aboriginal women compared to any other province, and many of the missing person cases remain unsolved.
It is also true that missing aboriginal women do not get the media coverage they should, and that many of those in power hope to have the issue “blow over.” This is unacceptable.
Saskatoon Police Chief Clive Weighill believes that the public inquiry will delay action, but what is the harm in pushing for an inquiry as well as an action plan?
The aboriginal community needs wider support, and I am proud of Winnipeg youth who are tirelessly protesting and holding up signs to support a public inquiry. Open your hearts.
Let’s have a public inquiry.
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