Mr. Speaker, today the Native Women's Association of Canada launched its national campaign “Sisters in Spirit” to raise awareness and to demand action about the tragedy of over 500 aboriginal women who are missing or murdered in Canada.
The exploitation, murder and violence against aboriginal women, sex trade workers, and poor women is increasing at an alarming rate, but the government has failed to act. The 61 missing women in Vancouver's downtown east side, the closure of women's centres, and deepening poverty and violence all point to an ongoing failure of public policy.
The government shows its real intent in the federal budget. So what is it to be, the rhetoric of the debt or the real and desperate need of aboriginal women?
The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, March 21, is a time to express our solidarity for this campaign. Federal New Democrats will not allow these sisters to be forgotten. We will demand accountability from this government and its miserable record that has hurt so many women in Canada.