Ottawa – New Democrats have ramped up pressure in House of Commons for the government to call an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women, says Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP, Carol Hughes.

New Democrats took control of the House agenda on Friday forcing a debate and a vote on the subject when it became apparent the government was not going to bring the issue forward.  Hughes spoke during the debate and has been up in Question Period three times in recent days to press the government on the issue. 

Her speech included a tribute to Sonya Cywink from Whitefish River First Nation who was found murdered in Elgin County 20 years ago.  Hughes demanded the government do the right thing and used hard statistics to back up her call.

“Today, in 2014, indigenous women in this country are five to seven times more likely to die from violence than any other women,” said Hughes. “What is wrong with this story? Why is there not any action from the Conservative government?”

Hughes said that the government’s reluctance to call an inquiry is far off-side from public opinion.

“What do they have to hide? Why do they not want an inquiry when it is so crucial for families?” said Hughes.  “Even the provinces are asking for this.”

The government is claiming that its special report is an appropriate response while New Democrat MPs say that Action Plan signs on the Highway of Tears will do nothing to help Canadians understand or change the pattern of violence that is being visited on one segment of society in an inordinate way.

“Their Special Committee Report is not the answer to this social crisis,” said Hughes. “(It) is not the answer families are still looking for.”

Hughes said that the opportunity for the government to change direction was passed by the when the motion came to a vote in the chamber.

“Last night’s vote marked another chance for the Conservatives to catch up to public opinion,” said Hughes. “They talk a good game on victim’s rights but really aren’t interested in standing up for the most vulnerable in society.”