So i’ve been on a pretty long hiatus for many reasons.
One of those reasons being the fact that we students at Carleton were extremely busy fighting a pretty petty administration at Carleton University who thought it best to withhold the student unions fees from both the Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) and the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) (In addition to brinkmanship neotiating with the labour unions). Yep…..not the smartest move and downright, amounting to another form of bullying tactics that this current administration has added to its normalized ways of dealing with campus ‘stakeholders’.
Luckily, the students’ unions stood their ground, fought back and won! Though it’s hundreds of legal dollars later, the victory of the students’ unions reinforces their autonomy and the ability of their members to determine the existence and direction of the unions. Congrats and much big ups to CUSA and the GSA!
Now onto other rumblings. I’ve been trying to keep up to date with the recent attacks by the Conservative government onto Native Womens Association of Canada (NWAC). What an absolute disgrace that the government is threatening long-standing funding to NWAC on the grounds that they cannot pursue research on missing and murdered Aboriginal women and that they cannot use the name ‘Sisters In Spirit.’ Huhhhh…the very foundation of what they do!
This is the substance of the recent Question and Answer Period on Missing and Murdered Aboriginal women in Parliament (Dec. 7th 2010)
QUESTION PERIOD – Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Hon. Anita Neville (Winnipeg South Centre, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the government’s failure to call a public inquiry into the missing and murdered Aboriginal women is a national disgrace.
Over 600 First nations, Inuit and Métis women have gone missing or murdered. That is 600. These women were mothers, aunties, daughters and sisters.
Will the Prime Minister today, on the 40th anniversary of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women, right this wrong and call a public inquiry?
Hon. Rona Ambrose (Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, CPC): Mr. Speaker, as you know, we have a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable women in our society and we are doing just that by implementing a new program to address the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women.
We have now created a new RCMP centre for missing persons. We have improved our law enforcement databases to deal with investigating missing and murdered women. We have also created a national website for public tips to help locate missing women.
In fact the Native Women’s Association has said that this is a significant investment and Sue O’Sullivan, the Federal Ombudsman for Victims Services says that what we need is more initiatives just like this.
Hon. Anita Neville (Winnipeg South Centre, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the facts are simple. This is a national crisis. There have been 600 missing and murdered aboriginal women and still no inquiry.
This is the real tough on crime issue. If the government wants to be tough on crime, then call an inquiry. If it wants to prevent violence against women, then call an inquiry.
How many more aboriginal women need to become victims before the Conservative government treats this issue like the crisis it is?
Hon. Rona Ambrose (Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I think we know that we have taken very concrete action to support the issue of murdered and missing aboriginal women, but one of the things that is most important for all of us in this chamber to do and in the country to do, is support women’s fundamental basic human rights.
Right now before the House we have the opportunity to support matrimonial and property rights which will historically change the inequality between aboriginal women and non-aboriginal women.
I ask the member why she does not support it.
I will continue to monitor this situation and provide feedback later…I’m kind of on the job 🙂