By Kenneth Jackson
APTN National News
He doesn’t see anything wrong with his fellow senators calling a Senate inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women but Senator Patrick Brazeau said it’s not the best route and won’t give the crisis the best bang for the buck.
“It’s a good thing, but having said that, however I’m not sure at this point if an inquiry in the Senate is the vehicle to get the message out there because there is some level of cynicism in the Senate,” said Brazeau in an interview with APTN National News. “I’m hopeful in the future, be it a national inquiry or a taskforce, I think something will be done.”
The Conservative senator was responding to a Liberal-led inquiry in the Senate announced Wednesday by First Nation Senator Sandra Lovelace Nicholas from the Tobique First Nation.
He said Senate inquiries are non-binding and really just amount to a debate, but does offer a platform for any senator to bring an inquiry and try to shed light on any particular issue.
In recent weeks, Brazeau has been calling for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls.
Statistics indicate that more than 600 Aboriginal women and girls have gone missing or were murdered in the last decade. Organizations have been calling for an inquiry for years. The Conservative government has refused to do so.
Brazeau said what’s needed is a solution-orientated approach and a Senate debate will provide a report that nobody is going to read.
He said the government typically doesn’t like to launch national inquiries because they are expensive and sometimes feel they don’t really amount to anything.
But that’s not going to stop him from trying.
“At the end of the day if we don’t act as a country we are sending the wrong message to predators out there. If we don’t act we are basically telling predators it’s OK for you to take advantage of our Aboriginal women,” he said. “I’m continuing the work I do.”
Lovelace Nicholas said she is hopeful the inquiry will lead to solutions down the road.
“As legislators and advocates on behalf of Canadians, it is our duty to study these matters with all the tools at our disposal, both here in Senate and in the appropriate standing committees,” said Lovelace Nicholas in a press release. “We hope that this inquiry will finally convince the government to take the concrete actions required to put an end to this tragedy.”