Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach is ramping up pressure on the federal government to create a Red Dress Alert. Bachrach is distributing buttons promoting the campaign and encouraging people to sign postcards he plans to hand-deliver to public safety minister Dominic LeBlanc.
“The issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls is one that for decades has deeply affected families throughout the northwest. Tragically, that continues to this day. The Red Dress Alert is a tangible, concrete step that will improve the chance that when loved ones go missing, they are found,” said Bachrach.
The Red Dress Alert would function similarly to the Amber Alert system, using the cell phone network to distribute an alert whenever an Indigenous woman, girl or two-spirit person is reported missing.
“We know that the first 24 hours after a person goes missing are the most critical,“ said Bachrach. “The Amber Alert system has proven that timely public alerts greatly increase the chance of people being found, which is why I think the Red Dress Alert holds so much promise.”
Bachrach’s NDP colleague Leah Gazan (Winnipeg Centre) initiated the Red Dress Alert campaign in response to calls from families. In May, she succeeded at gaining the support of Parliament for a Canada-wide Red Dress Alert, and the spring 2023 federal budget included a commitment to engage in consultations about setting up such a system.
“Leah has shown amazing leadership on this issue. In talking to families throughout our region, many have told me they feel having a Red Dress Alert would be an important step forward. We have an opportunity right now to raise our voices together and call on the government to make it a reality.”
Postcards and buttons can be picked up in person at Bachrach’s constituency offices in Prince Rupert, Terrace and Smithers, or requested by emailing email@example.com.