Ottawa – In the ten years since Amnesty International Canada released a major report documenting the violence against this country’s indigenous women there still hasn’t been a strong federal response on the issue, says Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP, Carol Hughes.

“There has been opportunity for both Liberal and Conservative governments, but a full decade later we are so mired in the problem that the only reasonable response is a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women,” said Hughes during an adjournment debate in the House of Commons Tuesday.

Statistics continue to mount and a problem that has been well documented vexes the government who refuse to move from a position that denies the important role an inquiry will play in changing attitudes in Canada.

“The current government refuses to budge,” said Hughes. “Instead of recognizing the benefit the process will have, they manage to plug their ears and claim these are all just crimes which are being dealt with by the police.”

Hughes says the real crime is inaction and indifference as well as viewing these women and girls in the worst light far too often.

“Disappearances are too quickly dismissed as runaways or substance abusers which is supposed to excuse a lackluster effort to find missing people,” said Hughes.  

The MP feels the government is missing the point about what the benefits of an inquiry would be.

“This is not about solving crimes it is about showing respect and changing a cultural view of what is acceptable,” said Hughes. “Part of the showing of respect is to allow the families of the victims to be heard – which is what an inquiry will do.”

Hughes said the appetite for an inquiry is only growing all through Canada with one notable exception – the Conservative government.