Mr. Speaker, as indicated in the 2010 Speech from the Throne, the government is committed to ensuring that all women in Canada, including aboriginal women, are safe and secure regardless of the community in which they live. Budget 2010 invests $10 million over two years to address the disturbingly high number of missing and murdered aboriginal women. Aboriginal women remain particularly vulnerable to violence and can face challenges in accessing the justice system.
The government will continue working in partnership with provincial and territorial governments, aboriginal people, and other stakeholders to develop more effective, appropriate, and collaborative solutions and responses that cut across many different sectors, including the justice system; public safety and policing; gender issues and women’s rights; and aboriginal affairs.
Concrete action will be taken to ensure that law enforcement and the justice system meet the needs of aboriginal women and their families.
On October 29, 2010, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, announced the seven concrete steps the Government of Canada is taking to address the disturbingly high number of missing and murdered aboriginal women and to make our communities safer: http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/news-nouv/nr-cp/2010/doc_32560.html, http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/news-nouv/nr-cp/2010/doc_32564.html and http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/news-nouv/nr-cp/2010/doc_32565.html. As the news release and backgrounder indicate, four of the seven initiatives involve additional program funding, which was made available to aboriginal groups and communities through application to either the Department of Justice, http://canada.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/pb-dgp/fund-fina/index.html, or the Department of Public Safety, http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/prg/cor/ac/index-eng.aspx. The Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women Canada also announced at the same time a $500,000 investment this year to the Native Women's Association of Canada’s “From Evidence to Action” program.