Bennett holds MMIW pre-inquiry meeting in Vancouver

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett continued her cross-country tour as part of pre-inquiry meetings into the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Vancouver on Tuesday.

See Full Article

Bennett kicked off the circuit last week in Thunder Bay, Ont., and has so far scheduled at least four more stops before it is set to wrap up by summer.

The sessions -- which have been designated the "design phase" of the inquiry -- are being held with the victim's families, as well as frontline workers and other aboriginal community organizations.

On Tuesday, Bennett stressed the importance of reaching out to citizens across the country for their input.

"We hope that all Canadians will be part of this really important step forward on reconciliation," she said.

Bennett met with numerous victims' advocates, including several representatives from Vancouver's Memorial March Committee, which was created to honour missing and murdered women from the city's poverty-stricken Downtown Eastside.

The committee has been calling for a national inquiry for decades.

One member of the group, Fay Blaney, emphasized the need for the inquiry to address the issue of violence not only on a local level, but in Canadian society as a whole.

"We experience violence not only in our communities, but we experience violence from the larger population," she said.

Many of the advocates had relatives and friends who had gone missing or been murdered.

"These women had names and identities -- they mean something to us," said Carol Martin, a victim's service worker at the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre and member of the committee.

Coola Louis, the women's representative for the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, also met with Bennett and urged the minister to learn from B.C.'s 2012 report by the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry.

The report was issued in an effort to address the systemic gaps that allowed serial killer Robert Pickton to target sex workers in the Downtown Eastside.

The inquiry's commissioner, Wally Oppal, made 65 recommendations, including compensation for victims' families and safer transportation along B.C.'s so-called Highway of Tears.

Louis criticized the 2012 inquiry for being too limited in scope and not open to everyone who wanted to participate.

"We don't want to repeat some of the same mistakes," she said.

"And in this pre-inquiry stage, it is easy to slip."

Bennett hopes to complete the pre-inquiry consultation by as early as the beginning of May.

Canadians who can't attend in person can also take part by filling out an online survey.

With a report from CTV News' Melanie Nagy



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Alberta Liberal party calls for public inquiry into drug deaths in provincial jails

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON - The Alberta Liberals want the government to call a public inquiry into all drug-related deaths of inmates in provincial jails since 2012. Liberal Leader David Swann said there has been a spike in the number of drug-related police investigations at the Edmonton Remand Centre over the past year. Source
  • Trump wrongly blames fraud for loss of popular vote

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump asserted in a private meeting with congressional leaders Monday night that he would have won the popular vote in the 2016 election if 3 million to 5 million immigrants living in the country illegally hadn't voted. Source
  • 'She gambled away Ryan's life': Judges rules Tamara Lovett guilty of criminal negligence causing death [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Calgary mom Tamara Lovett gambled with her seven-year-old son's life by not getting him proper medical care and lost, a judge ruled Monday in finding her guilty of criminal negligence causing death. Court of Queen's Bench Justice Kristine Eidsvik said Lovett's decision to continue to treat her gravely ill son, Ryan, with "natural" remedies instead of getting him to a doctor crossed the line of criminal behaviour. Source
  • Countries push to save TPP deal after U.S. exits

    World News CTV News
    SYDNEY -- Several countries say they hope to salvage the Trans-Pacific Partnership after President Donald Trump's decision on a U.S. withdrawal from the trade pact cast its future in jeopardy. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull acknowledged Trump's move was a blow to the multinational agreement. Source
  • Toronto theatre company developing play based on Russell Williams interrogation

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - A Toronto-based theatre company is developing a play based on the intense police interrogation in which convicted sex killer Russell Williams confessed his crimes. The One Little Goat Theatre Company plans to premiere "Smyth/Williams" in March, with an all-female cast that will alternate the roles of the interrogating officer and Williams through the performance. Source
  • China's birthrate rises after one-child policy loosened

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING -- The number of births in China has risen nearly eight per cent in the year after the government loosened its unpopular one-child policy. China's National Health and Family Planning Commission said this week that 17.86 million children were born last year, an increase of 1.31 million from 2015. Source
  • Competitive electronic gaming taking universities by storm

    Canada News CTV News
    Competitive electronic gaming, also known as eSports, has become such a phenomenon that there are now university teams and scholarships dedicated to the alternative sport. Competitive gaming is extremely popular overseas in places like South Korea and Japan, where matches of games like Starcraft can sell out stadiums. Source
  • Former Liberal MP Andrew Telegdi dead at 70

    Canada News CBC News
    Tributes to Andrew Telegdi poured in Monday evening on news the former Kitchener-Waterloo MP and city councillor has died. He was 70. Telegdi served as a Liberal MP from 1993 to 2008, the first four years for the riding of Waterloo, then for the riding of Kitchener-Waterloo for 11 years. Source
  • Ageless Venus Williams advances to Australian Open semis

    World News CBC News
    Venus Williams has become the oldest woman to reach the Australian Open semifinals in the Open era, returning to the last four at Melbourne Park for the first time in 14 years.MEN'S RESULTS: Australian OpenWOMEN'S RESULTS: Australian OpenThe 36-year-old Williams beat No. Source
  • 200,000 litres of crude oil spilled in Saskatchewan

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    STOUGHTON, Sask. — About 200,000 litres of crude oil has been spilled onto agricultural land in southeastern Saskatchewan after a pipeline leak. The spill was detected Friday at a site 10 kilometres north of Stoughton in a low-lying area with a frozen slough. Source