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

  • Could you receive a missile text alert on your phone? In B.C., not yet

    Canada News CBC News
    It was a terrifying morning in Hawaii last Saturday when thousands of people woke up to TV broadcasts, radio messages and a text alert on their smartphones warning them of an incoming ballistic missile. Of course, it turned out to be a false alarm. Source
  • Woman known for sneaking onto planes arrested again in Chicago

    World News CTV News
    CHICAGO -- A woman with a history of sneaking aboard planes slipped past security at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport this week and was flying to London when the airline realized she didn't have a ticket. Source
  • Family of Toronto man who disappeared near Toronto's Gay Village 'want the details' of how he died

    Canada News CBC News
    Andrew Kinsman's family is still searching for answers a day after a Toronto man was charged with first-degree murder in his disappearance and that of another man near the city's Gay Village last spring. "I want the details. Source
  • Company investigating after wind turbine collapses in Chatham-Kent, Ont.

    Canada News CTV News
    CHATHAM-KENT, Ont. -- A Maryland-based renewable energy company is investigating after one of its wind turbines collapsed in southwestern Ontario. Chad Reed, a spokesman for Terraform Power, said it happened late Thursday or early Friday at the company's Raleigh project in Chatham-Kent. Source
  • Conservatives question pope's airborne, shotgun nuptials

    World News CTV News
    LIMA, Peru -- The honeymoon, as it were, is apparently over. A day after Pope Francis grabbed headlines by pronouncing two flight attendants man and wife while flying 36,000 feet over Chile, the conservative Catholic commentariat on Friday questioned the legitimacy of the shotgun sacrament and warned it could cheapen the church's marriage preparation down the line. Source
  • Hawaii Gov. knew missile alert was false 15 minutes before he told public

    World News CTV News
    HONOLULU -- The Hawaii National Guard's top commander said Friday he told Gov. David Ige that a missile alert was a false alarm two minutes after it went out statewide. But the governor didn't tell the public until 15 minutes later. Source
  • Sikh man gets apology after a P.E.I. Legion told him to remove his turban

    Canada News CBC News
    A Sikh man says he was asked to remove his turban by staff at the Royal Canadian Legion in Tignish, P.E.I., on Wednesday night and along with his friend, was subject to racist remarks from patrons. Source
  • Quebec teen says smartphone rules are too tough in letter to school board

    Canada News CBC News
    A Quebec teen thinks his school's policy of seizing smartphones belonging to students caught using them in class goes too far. Vincent Duguay, 15, challenged his school's cellphone policy with a cease-and-desist letter sent to the local school board this week. Source
  • Timeline of Lac-Megantic events

    Canada News CTV News
    SHERBROOKE, Que. -- Three men were found not guilty Friday in connection with the Lac-Megantic train disaster in July 2013. Here is a timeline of key moments related to the the derailment: JULY 6, 2013: An unattended train with five locomotives and more than 70 tank cars carrying crude oil rolls down an incline before coming off the tracks in Lac-Megantic, Que. Source
  • Tom Petty died of accidental drug overdose, family says

    World News CBC News
    Tom Petty's family says an autopsy found his death last year was due to an accidental drug overdose. (Chris Pizello/Associated Press) Tom Petty's family and the Los Angeles coroner say his death last year was due to an accidental drug overdose. Source