Opposition forces key debate and vote as women Take Back the Night

OTTAWA -An unscheduled debate about violence against Indigenous women dominated proceedings in Parliament this morning and triggered an October vote as the NDP Official Opposition again highlighted a crisis the Conservative government continues to ignore.

“We understand the desperate need for a national inquiry into hundreds of unsolved cases of Indigenous mothers, daughters, aunties and sisters who were murdered or are missing in Canada in recent years,” Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley) said today.

“Stephen Harper’s refusal to address the root causes of these tragedies is unacceptable.  NDP MPs are working hard alongside families and communities to reduce violence that so often particularly targets Indigenous women.

“The fact that the majority of missing and murdered women along the Highway of Tears are First Nations is more than coincidence.”

Cullen noted today’s impromptu parliamentary debate is particularly significant as communities around Canada and the world hold annual Take Back the Night rallies tonight to protest sexual and other forms of violence against women.

Today’s debate is significant procedurally as a lack of Conservative MPs allowed the Opposition to force debate on a parliamentary committee examining violence against women. This triggered a requirement for further debate and a vote on an independent national inquiry on violence against Indigenous women within 10 sitting days.

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Contact: Shelley Browne, nathan.cullen.c1@parl.gc.ca or 250-877-4140