Trudeau must directly intervene in troubled MMIWG Inquiry, says Cullen

 

OTTAWA –The sudden departure yesterday of the executive director of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) must serve as an urgent call to the Liberal government to take direct, immediate steps to get the work of the Inquiry back on track, MP Nathan Cullen said today.

“The swinging door of departures at the Inquiry’s most senior levels can no longer be ignored by the Minister and Prime Minister,” Cullen said.

“It’s simply unfathomable to ask Canadians to believe the Inquiry’s work is not being severely disrupted by the constant transition at the top of the troubled Inquiry.

“This Inquiry has been years in the making.  It has a critical mandate.  Victim families and Canadians deserve a focused and aggressive effort to fully examine the systemic causes of the violence that Indigenous women and girls experience.”

The departure of executive director Debbie Reid yesterday has not been explained by the organization, which issued a terse press release wishing Reid well and announcing an interim appointee to the position.

Reid had only been in the job since October.  She sparked controversy in her first week for an introductory email to staff, in which she said her job was to "protect" the Commissioners, something she said should also be a priority for all staff.

The independent Inquiry has lost two dozen people since its September 2016 launch, including Commissioner Marilyn Poitras and executive director Michèle Moreau, who both resigned.

The Inquiry’s next community hearings are in Yellowknife later this month and Rankin Inlet in February.  Three days of community hearings were held in Smithers last September.

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