It could still be all political hand-grenade tossing, but on the surface anyhow, it would appear that Canadian mainstream politicians are starting to get it.
Liberals and NDP’ers are suddenly coming out with their party’s official stance on the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and are being openly critical of the Harper government’s apparent disinterest in the subject. Just this past week, three of Canada’s leading political leaders made official statements condemning Harper for not calling for an inquiry into the matter.
“The staggering number of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada is a national tragedy. The Prime Minister continues to demonstrate a tremendous lack of leadership and how out of touch he is with this issue and those deeply impacted by it. Mr. Harper is on the wrong side of history – the federal government must take urgent action to end this national tragedy. Despite repeated calls for a public inquiry from the families of victims, provincial governments, Indigenous communities, and international organizations, the Prime Minister and his government have repeatedly refused to call a public inquiry. National leadership and action are urgently needed if we are to put an end to this violence.” – Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.
“Only a full public inquiry would get at the root causes of violence against aboriginal women in Canada. An RCMP report issued in May concluded that nearly 1,200 aboriginal women have gone missing or been murdered in this country in the last 30 years.” – NDP leader Tom Mulclair.
“Last year I really pushed at Niagara-on-the-Lake to support the First Nations and aboriginal leaders in their call for a public inquiry. Nothing has gotten better; in fact, it’s gotten worse.” – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.
To believe that either of the opposition parties would actually open that door may be bit much to hope for, at least they are saying the right words and are capitalizing on Harper’s arrogance as election time draws near.
The entire Indigenous issue has become a major thorn in Harper’s side, and Trudeau and Mulclair are savvy enough politicians to recognize a weakness and exploit it to their own end. That plays well for getting Onkwehon:we issues into the mainstream, if nothing else.
Naturally, First Nations organizations across Canada are joining together to demand that this inquiry occur.
The United Nations has weighed in heavily against Canada’s Indigenous Rights policies under the Conservatives, which is adding even more pressure to the closed door of the PM’s office, and with environmentalists screaming blue bloody murder in every magazine and publication across the land, a perfect storm is brewing which may blow down the bulwarks of Harper’s “Father knows best” regime.