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QUESTION PERIOD — Indigenous Services

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

June 7, 2022

Hon. Donald Neil Plett (Leader of the Opposition)

Government leader, last Friday marked three years since the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was released. Each one of these cases involve families who want to know what happened to their loved one. They want justice, and they want cold cases reopened.

Leader, a year ago I asked you for an update on the status of RCMP investigations into these cases based on information provided in answer to one of my written questions on the Order Paper. I asked what your government was doing to assist the RCMP in resolving more of these cases and if arrests had been made or charges laid. I never received an answer in that year. Leader, what progress, if any, has been made in resolving cold cases since the final report was released?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ + ]

Thank you for your question, colleague. I regret you haven’t received an answer. I was not aware. I shall follow up and report back as soon as I can.

Hopefully, that won’t take another year.

One of the recommendations in the final report was the creation of a national task force to review and reinvestigate unresolved files of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. A report released last week by the Native Women’s Association of Canada found that there has been no update on the status of a national task force. The report called this extremely concerning and said it was critical that cases be reinvestigated to bring closure to the families.

Leader, a year ago the NDP-Liberal government finally responded to the national inquiry with a so-called action plan of its own. Why hasn’t there been any action taken on the creation of a task force? Will the families see one established this year?

Senator Gold [ + ]

Again, thank you for your question. It’s an important one, and I thank you for your commitment to the issue. I will make inquiries and report back.

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