Aboriginal relations critic, Doug Donaldson says the RCMP’s report on missing and murdered Aboriginal women should be an eye opener for B.C.
Donaldson says there have been solutions such as the recommendation of a transit system along the Highway of Tears that have been in front of the B.C. government for years now, but not acted upon.
The RCMP report shows that Aboriginal women make up 16 per cent of murder cases and 11.3 per cent of missing cases while only representing 4.3 per cent of the female population.
It also showed that the Aboriginal victims were more likely than non-Aboriginal victims to have other risk factors such as unemployment, prior criminal activity or drug or alcohol use.
Donaldson says that points to the vulnerability of Aboriginal women in Canada and B.C.
“I hope that some people don’t interpret that as in any way trying to blame the victim. These are women that are existing in the context of horrific socio-economic conditions. We have had numerous UN reports pointing to the conditions Aboriginal people face in Canada and B.C. so of course you are going to have some of those rates being higher.”
He says calls for a national inquiry are good but the provincial government should also stop cuts to services such as shelters and rehabilitation centers and increase services such as Domestic Peace men’s programs.
“I think the B.C. government needs to not only look at transportation systems but the whole suite of options they have around helping, and assisting and reducing those kinds of socio-economic conditions.”