Debates of the Senate  
2nd Session, 41st Parliament, Volume 149, Issue 98
  Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Question: Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women
Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck: My question is for the Leader of the Government of the Senate. You keep talking about taking concrete actions, but concrete actions have to come from concrete knowledge. You are talking about how you have taken concrete action to address domestic violence by promoting more safe houses, interval houses, and so on.


Yet, where is the evidence that domestic violence is driving the violence against Aboriginal women? The RCMP report doesn't show that at all, not at all. Rather, the RCMP report shows that for Aboriginal women, most violence does not come from their spouse or domestic partner but from an acquaintance. How can your concrete action plan, which addresses domestic violence, be the only answer?

It addresses only part of the problem, not the major problem. How on earth did you ever come up with that kind of plan, when we have evidence that it's not what we need to address?

Senator Tardif: Good question.


Senator Carignan: Senator Dyck, this is a multi-faceted issue that requires multi-faceted policies and decisions. As I said, our government is taking a series of measures to achieve these objectives. We are taking concrete action. We are talking about shelters for women, children and families living on reserve. We are also talking about prevention plans to create safer communities, implemented in cooperation with the communities.


Senator Dyck: You also talked about concrete action plans and the matrimonial real property bill, which of course talks about women who live on reserve. How could you come up with that concrete action plan when there is no evidence that most of the violence happens on reserve? Where is the data? We don't have that data. You have come up with an action plan based on what?

Surely you need to have the knowledge that an inquiry would provide before you can make concrete action plans to address it in a logical manner. There is no data indicating where the violence happens. If the data exist, they haven't been published. Where did you get the idea the violence is only on reserve?


Senator Carignan: That is why diverse measures are needed. As I said earlier, we have passed more than 30 criminal justice and public safety measures, with the support of victims. These measures include tougher sentences for murder, consecutive sentences for serial killers, tougher sentences for sexual assault and kidnapping, and mandatory prison sentences for the most serious crimes. In Economic Action Plan 2014, we allocated an additional $25 million over five years to continue our efforts to address the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women. We allocated more than $8 million over five years to create a DNA-based missing persons index. As I said, in some cases, these measures apply on reserve. In other cases, as is clear from the nature of the measures I just mentioned, they will also apply off reserve.

The constant here is that we are taking concrete action. When we introduce a bill to improve the situation or we present an economic action plan to invest more, we see another constant, and that is that you always vote against these bills.