OTTAWA – The native women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) has deplored the fact that the Trudeau government has postponed the presentation of its action plan to respond to the report of the national Survey of women and girls missing and murdered aboriginal, filed a year ago to the day.
“To say that the pandemic is an obstacle to the national action plan is doubly insulting to the indigenous women who live in fear of even greater violence because of the isolation due to the disease,” said Wednesday the president of the NWAC, Lorraine Whitman.
The minister of Relations Crown-Aboriginal, Carolyn Bennett, said in an interview for the CBC, last week, that the action plan could not be filed in view of the first anniversary of the end of the national Survey of women and girls missing and murdered aboriginal (ENFFADA). It argued that further consultation should be carried out and that the pandemic had incurred delays in spite of the meetings held virtually.
“They had nine months before the pandemic strikes to reach out to us and to other aboriginal groups. But I can tell you that the NWAC has not heard much from them during this time”, said Ms. Whitman.
The launch of a national action plan is one of the key recommendations contained among the 231 “calls for justice” report of the ENFFADA. The criticism that wipes the Trudeau government arise also in a context where it drives home the point that more needs to be done to combat racism and systemic discrimination, in the wake of the death of the Afro-american George Floyd, who was killed by a white policeman in Minneapolis.
“We need to do in the face of racism and […] to undo our colonial legacy,” replied the minister Bennett, when challenged in the Commons by former liberal minister and former aboriginal leader Jody Wilson-Raybould, today mp independent.
“We have undertaken concrete actions to put an end to this national tragedy and we are working with our partners in provincial, territorial and aboriginal-to put in place a national action plan that will allow indigenous women and women members (of the community LGBTQ2] to walk safely across the country,” she added.
Several opposition parties, did not fail to lambast the liberals of Justin Trudeau.
“It’s been a year and the government has not acted, it is unacceptable. It must show what is the game plan and the response plan requests”, has hammered the chief of the new democrat Jagmeet Singh.
The chief bloquiste Yves-François Blanchet for his part, accused Mr. Trudeau of letting the report sit on a shelf and “wrap themselves in kilometers under” without raising equity.