Debates of the Senate  
2nd Session, 41st Parliament, Volume 149, Issue 38
  Wednesday, February 26, 2014
 
Question: Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls
Senator Dyck: I agree with you, Senator Carignan, that all citizens should be equal and all women should be equal. It's a goal that we all strive for. However, the reality is that Aboriginal women are five times more likely to have been kidnapped, disappeared or murdered. They're at much greater risk of being kidnapped or murdered. Therefore, they are not equal.

We also know that within our laws, Aboriginal women were not equal. We had Bill C-31, wherein our colleague Sandra Lovelace Nicholas was a champion in getting Aboriginal women greater rights. They're still not as equal as they should be.

Therefore, in any plans that the government has, they should take that inequality into account and any programs should be directed specifically towards the Aboriginal women because of that greater risk. The question is: Why hasn't the government done that?

You've put the Aboriginal women in with all the other women, but you have not directed a specific program. Why not?

[Translation]

Senator Carignan: I am sorry, Senator, but when I talked about meaningful action and the fact that Economic Action Plan 2014 includes $25 million over five years to pursue our efforts to reduce violence against Aboriginal women and girls, I see that as specific, targeted action. When I talked about developing community safety plans in partnership with Aboriginal communities, I see that as specific, targeted action that will help Aboriginal women and girls.