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Federal election candidate questions: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

In the days leading up to the federal election on October 19, we will be publishing the answers to questions posed by 2day FM to the candidates running in the Grande Prairie-Mackenzie riding. The responses are listed in alphabetical order and are unedited. They have not been fact checked and 2day FM is not responsible for any errors or inaccuracies.

Q: What does your party believe should be done to address the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in our country?

James Friesen, Green Party

A: We in the Green Party would upon being elected  start a full scale investigation into missing and murdered Aboriginal women in this country. We will not stop that investigation until closure  has brought to bare on every one involved these murder’s  The two political parties that have been in power over the last 40 years, while this slaughter of our Aboriginal women has taken place should hang their heads in shame. If elected I will fight to start that investigation.

Reagan Johnston, Liberal Party

The Liberal Party has included in the official platform their belief that “the disappearance and death of nearly 1,200 Indigenous women and girls is an ongoing national tragedy that must come to an end. We will immediately launch a national public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada, to seek recommendations on concrete actions that governments, law enforcement, and others can take to solve these crimes and prevent future ones.”

Saba Mossagizi, NDP

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The NDP would call for a National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Ignoring an entire segment of our population by the Federal Government is not only neglectful but it is cruel.

Dylan Thompson, Libertarian Party

A: The solve rates between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal victims are very close, but Aboriginal women experience higher rates of victimization relative to their population size than non-Aboriginal women do. Differences between the lives of Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals have in part been a result of the harmful legacy of the Canadian government’s residential school regime which astonishingly persisted until 1996. Moving forward, respecting their autonomy could go a long way to changing the statistical differences between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women..

Chris Warkentin, Conservative Party

As a father of three young children, I can’t imagine the horror of loosing one of our children. The thought that my child would go missing and never be found or be murdered is unthinkable and heart-breaking. Over the past number of years, there have been dozens of reports and inquiries into the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women, including comprehensive reports by the RCMP. I am convinced that it is time for action. We must equip our law enforcement and our criminal justice system to investigate and hold the perpetrators responsible for these horrific crimes.

In my parliamentary roles, I have heard the testimonies of many family members who have lost loved ones. The consistent plea was for closure and to ensure that the perpetrators are unable to continue to inflict pain on other families. Now is not the time for more reports to be written, I am convinced that we must to use all our time and resources to bring closure for those who have lost loved ones and stop the perpetrators of these horrific acts from being able to continue to re-offend. We must also work with communities and organizations to help provide protection for vulnerable women.

We have taken steps to increase protection for women living on reserves by filling a long-standing legislative gap to ensure that First Nations women and children receive the same protections that other Canadians expect by passing the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act. This legislation protects the rights of women and children to their family home during the course of a family break-up or divorce. We have also passed dozens of laws to increase the penalties for gun violence, human trafficking, violent crimes, sexual offences, kidnapping, and murder.  We must ensure that those responsible for these heinous acts are held responsible for their actions and are unable to continue to victimize others.

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