N.S., PC, NDP Urges to Launch Inquiry into Missing, Murdered Aboriginal Women

N.S. Premier, Stephen McNeil, and the leaders of the Progressive Conservative and New Democratic parties have unanimously urged the federal government to launch a national public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls. In a statement issued by Premier McNeil, he mentioned that “the tragic death of Loretta Saunders reminds us violence against women is a serious issue that must be dealt with,” adding that “I want to express my deepest condolences to Ms. Saunders’s family and friends, and the aboriginal community for their loss.”

Revealing that he wrote a letter to the federal Ministers of Justice, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, and the Status of Women today, on March 6 and urged them to launch an inquiry, McNeil stated that “I commend the federal government for its efforts so far, but I urge my federal colleagues to take this work one step further. It is time to launch a public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls.” Meanwhile, the leader of the Opposition, Jamie Baillie, stated that “my heart breaks for Ms. Saunders’ family and friends. More must be done to end violence against women,” and added that “I appreciate the steps by the federal government to form a committee and investigate cases of missing aboriginal women and girls. A public inquiry is an important next step.”

On the other hand, Leader of the Nova Scotia NDP, Maureen MacDonald, alleged that “the tragic death of Loretta Saunders has brought attention to what is a troubling pattern all levels of government must work together to address.” MacDonald added that “efforts must be made to examine and understand more fully what steps must be taken to end the unacceptable rate of death and disappearance among aboriginal women in Canada.”

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