MP Saganash continuing the fight for missing and murdered Aboriginal women





Val-d’Or, September 26, 2014 – Following the dramatic turn of events in which the NDP took control of the House of Commons last Friday (September 19), Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik-Eeyou MP Romeo Saganash was in national news spotlight, thanks to his moving testimony in which he called for a real debate on the causes behind the murdered and missing indigenous women (watch the video here) : )

He got right back at it in Question Period Monday afternoon (September 22), but was only able to garner the same old unsatisfactory responses from the Conservatives.

The following night, during a debate on a report that was tabled last March on missing and murdered aboriginal women, he spoke up, reminding everyone that he sat on the Special Committee that prepared the document and expressed his dissatisfaction with the final result:

“Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague across the way for her presentation.

She began by stating “here is what we heard on the committee.” I myself participated on that Special Committee, and what I heard from people providing testimony on the need to launch a national inquiry, was that they support the idea. Why did my colleague fail to take this into consideration? I really don’t understand, but what I know is that we failed these people.  

The question that I would like to have answered is very simple. The Member praises the Conservatives’ Action Plan. Yet, one of the basic Canadian principles with aboriginal people is that we must always work in partnership together. That is the promise that is outlined in section 35 of the Constitution.

I’d like to know if this plan was elaborated in partnership with aboriginal peoples and aboriginal women. If it was, who was consulted exactly? If not, why?”

Then, on September 24, Saganash used Question Period to once again push the Conservatives to take action on the issue during Voting to come later that evening.  

“Mr. Speaker, the Minister’s so-called Action Plan has no credibility. 1,200 aboriginal women are either dead or missing and the problem continues. But this evening, my colleagues across the way will have an opportunity to make a stand in honour of the memory of these women, victims of violence.

They will have an opportunity to vote down a report that symbolizes 30 years of indifference, 30 years of inaction…and finally acknowledge the need for a national public inquiry. Will they take act?”

The Conservatives’ response was once again extremely disappointing. They voted in support of the Special Committee Report and didn’t budge on their stance.

However, Mr. Saganash, with the help of his NDP colleagues, has no intention of letting up and will continue to pursue the cause to bring justice to the families of the victims. Only then will they be able to mourn their loss and have some assurance that this situation will not endure.  

During the week, NDP announced its support to the free trade agreement with South Korea. Mr. Saganash was pleased with the news, since forestry is part of this agreement. This industry is one of the economic pillars of the Riding and a partnership like this one means the opening of some new markets for the forestry companies, so it is a good news.


In closing, Mr. Saganash had this to say about the sudden passing of Amos mayor Ulrick Chérubin:  “I would like to express to all of Ulrick’s family and friends how saddened I was when I heard the news. Mr. Chérubin was a role model for all elected officials, due to both his close rapport with citizens and his dedication to the job. My deepest sympathies go out to his wife Immacula, his son Ulrick Jr., and his grandchildren,” he said.




Source:          Philippe Doherty