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Candidates back missing, murdered women inquiry

Issue arose at Terrace, B.C. federal election forum

  • Wed Oct 14th, 2015 10:00am
  • News

A national inquiry into murdered and missing aboriginal women drew support from all candidates at a federal election forum held here Oct. 6.

Liberal candidate Brad Layton said it was also important to act on inquiries and investigations that had already been conducted.

Those inquiries and investigations “should not collect dust on the shelf,” he said.

New Democrat Nathan Cullen re-affirmed an existing pledge of the NDP that it would begin an inquiry within 100 days if elected as the government.

He said he found it interesting that while the Conservative government could find the money for an inquiry into missing salmon on the Fraser River when Prime Minister Stephen Harper “was asked for his opinion on an inquiry [for missing women] he said it’s not on the radar to hold an inquiry.”

That, Cullen continued, showed “a certain level of insensitivity not becoming of the office [of Prime Minister].”

The matter of missing and murdered aboriginal women was one of racism, of poverty and having more choices for young aboriginal women and girls, he added.

“I’ve walked with these families. They have incredible courage year in and year out and we need a government that shares this courage to get to the heart of the matter,” said Cullen.

Conservative candidate Tyler Nesbitt said the issue is “high on his radar.”

“The number of First Nation abused, kidnapped and murdered in this country is absolutely abhorrent,” said Nesbitt.

He said work has already started to implement recommendations from previous inquiries.

“It has to do with family violence and prevention efforts,” Nesbitt said.

“If I’m elected here, I will push for increases in that funding and oppose anyone who wants to take that funding away,” said Nesbitt.

Don Spratt from the Christian Heritage Party and a strong pro-life activist, felt police sometimes have misplaced priorities.

He recounted a time when, while standing outside an abortion clinic in East Vancouver, three police cars circled the block, keeping an eye on him. Their time would have been better spent tracking down serial killers, said Spratt.