"Part of the problem is just the sheer numbers we’re talking about here, For example, in Saskatchewan today there are 31 missing people — 17 of them are aboriginal women.
That’s how important this issue is — 50 per cent of the missing people in Saskatchewan are aboriginal women and they only … account for about 7 per cent of the population."
— Brad Wall (Saskatchewan Premier)
A few days ago, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a statement regarding a public outcry for a national inquiry into the multitude of murders and kidnappings of Aboriginal women. Making up 4.3% of the Canadian population, Aboriginal women account for 16% of murdered females and 11.3% of missing women in the country.
The disproportionate amount of murders among Aboriginal women has been brought into the public eye by the murder of 15-year-old Anishinabe girl Tina Fontaine, who’s body was recently pulled out of the Red River in Winnipeg. Tragically, Tina has become one of the 1000+ Aboriginal women who have been killed in little over 30 years (remember that Canada has 1/10 of America’s population, so these numbers are even more heinous when you consider how small our population is)
So how did Stephen Harper respond to this issue? He made a very insensitive statement saying that he believes that the fact that Aboriginal women are three times more likely to be kidnapped and four times more likely to be murdered is not a “sociological phenomenon”, but a series of individual crimes to be solved by the police and not worthy of a national inquiry. He goes on to say that “the vast majority of these cases are addressed and are solved through police investigations, and we’ll leave it in their hands.”
Basically, the man who has been running our country for almost ten years believes that nothing should be done to prevent his country’s own citizens from being in particular danger of getting killed because of their social demographic. He refuses to recognize that an inquiry may bring public insight to this issue and give Canada a way to reduce the amount of violence and even prevent a multitude of Aboriginal women from becoming victims of homicide and/or abduction. Then he describes how well the police solve the investigations into these crimes as if solving the women’s murders somehow fixes the fact that this serious problem exists in the first place.
I beg you to please educate yourself on this issue. The amount of public apathy towards this topic is being fueled by the belief that Canada is some magical utopia where everyone loves each other and inequality doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, there are quite a few close-minded beliefs displayed by the government on a weekly basis. However, if we can begin to recognize that these problems still exist, maybe things will begin to change.
more information + sources:
1. You know the Keystone XL? The Canadian government wants six more of those things.
While the Keystone XL pipeline has the potential to move more crude from Alberta’s infamous oil sands than any other pipeline - facilitating the rapid expansion of one of the dirtiest, most resource-intensive oil extraction operations in the world - it’s only one of seven major pipelines proposed in Canada.
Other pipelines reach south and southeast to other refineries or east or west to coastal communities for raw export. The sprawling Energy East pipeline crosses 961 waterways and half a dozen major cities in its 2,700-mile run to the Atlantic.
The Northern Gateway reaches west to ship hazardous unrefined product through pristine-but-treacherous island-spotted waters of the wild British Columbia coastline to Asia. While environmental organizations condemn almost all these projects, and most political parties refuse to support the vast majority of them, both of Canada’s poll-leading political parties unabashedly support the Keystone XL.
Both awareness of and resistance to the project is significant in Canada, but arguably underdeveloped compared to the American campaign."
— Joseph Boutilier Via Five Things About Canada Every American Climate Activist Should Know
I really hate the fact that our current prime minister and his cabinet continue to support the USA on every world issue… Canada has seen it’s greatest political and economic success when we don’t follow our friends to the south. Arguably our two greatest leaders Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chrétien were notorious for disagreeing with Nixon and Bush respectively … The PC needs to stop getting involved in world issues when we have our problems at home. How about we open an inquiry on the hundreds of aboriginal women and girls going missing every year ? Or find a healthy solution in fixing healthcare instead of throwing more cash continually at a system that’s in need of change? Maybe Mr.Harper should be questioned for somehow leading our country (which he inherited with a surplus) to a 300 billion dollar debt and a 1.2 trillion dollar deficit that grows by the minute… (And cutting education, healthcare and military spending in the budget is not the solution) By the way cutting GST down from 7-5% and agreeing to increase corporate welfare are all signs that Mr.Harper and his brass are there for the rich … And the ridiculous amounts of ominous bills.. Getting rammed through parliament even has his own Supreme Court standing up to him now.
I’m an Albertan and I’m voting;
And so should you.
It seems everything this government does is in contrast to what most Canadians actually expect from their government. They deserve to go in 2015. Enough is enough.