VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – News of the Harper Government being voted out of office is being celebrated by families asking for years for an inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women. The Trudeau Liberals have promised to hold one.
Justin Trudeau reaffirmed that commitment during his first full day as Prime Minister Designate. “I believe that there is a need for a national public inquiry to bring justice for the victims, healing for the families and to put an end to this tragedy. That’s what we will do. We will work with communities and with engaged stakeholders to ensure that we get moving on this quickly.”
The Conservatives have refused in the past, saying the higher rate of murders and disappearances in this population is a matter for police.
Women’s Rights Campaigner Jackie Hansen with Amnesty International Canada is counting on the Liberals to get started as soon as possible. “We need this as soon as possible, but we also want to make sure that action isn’t delayed…So what we have been calling for is both a national public inquiry accompanied by a national action plan on violence against women, violence against all women and girls in Canada in fact.”
Trudeau wants action quickly as well, but not without input from families and groups who know the issues best.
Activists are already preparing for the start of planning for how the inquiry will work. Ernie Crey‘s sister Dawn disappeared from the Downtown Eastside. Her DNA was later found on serial killer Robert Pickton’s farm. He says he is preparing. “I’m telling people… get ready. All of you, the different organizations you’re a part of, can be helpful. You can offer up suggestions that would help in the lead up to an inquiry and the conduct of an inquiry.”
Crey says the outcome of the federal election couldn’t have been better for those wanting more answers on why this segment of the population is more likely to disappear or be murdered. He hopes this look can be deeper than anything police have done as the way policing is done may be one of the systemic issues behind disappearances.
The election of the Liberals to power means families of missing and murdered women will get what they’ve been asking for, that being a government inquiry.