The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) and the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) are calling for the resignation of a Coalition Avenir Québec MNA after he suggested Indigenous women lied about being sexually assaulted by provincial police officers.
“He can no longer serve,” said NWAC President Carol McBride after Pierre Dufour’s comments. They are a “slap in the face to Indigenous people across Canada, especially survivors of abuse. We cannot tolerate his hateful comments.”
“Calling Indigenous women liars, who are survivors of abuse, while we are in the middle of a genocide of Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse peoples is egregious. My heart goes out to anyone adversely impacted by his thoughtless words.”
Dufour made the comments while speaking about homelessness during a city council meeting last week in Val d’Or Que., about 500 km northwest of Montreal, Val d’Or is in Dufour’s riding of Abitibi-Est.
According to media reports, Dufour said that a 2015 investigation of the Radio-Canada show Enquête that looked into the sexual assaults of Indigenous women by police abuse was full of lies and attacked police officers that were very honest.
Following the investigation, the Quebec government launched a public inquiry, known as the Viens Commission, that looked into the relationship between some provincial departments and Indigenous people.
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In its final report, the commission identified 142 recommendations for the Quebec government, “135 of which called upon the Quebec government to restore the trust between Indigenous people and Quebec services,” says McBride.
“Mr. Dufour’s irresponsible comments do absolutely nothing to help restore that trust.”
Chief Ghislain Picard, the head of the AFNQL says Dufour’s comments “sends the message that people who dare to denounce violence do not deserve to be believed, that journalists have no rigor and that experts like Judge Viens botch their work”
“In truth, the only honourable thing he could do is to resign to make room for a well-intentioned and compassionate leader who finds solutions rather than causes chaos.”
APTN News reached out to Dufour’s office and did not receive a call back.