Feds have ‘fallen on their face’ in terms of helping Indigenous women: Buller


Nearly three years after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was handed the final report of the national inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and girls, the government seems no closer to releasing a national action plan.

That fact is frustrating advocates, politicians and the former commissioner of the inquiry Marion Buller.

She says the government has “fallen flat on its face” because of the lack of planning to improve the situation.

“We don’t have an implementation plan. There hasn’t been any sort of cohesive statement on the part of the federal government about what it plans to do. There is no looking forward. If there is an implementation plan, I don’t know about it and they’re keeping it quiet,” says Buller. “But, they have quite literally fallen flat on their face in terms of their responses.”

In response, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller says there’s always room for improvement.

Rather than speak to the plan, Miller chose to focus on the government’s $2 billion Pathway Program.

“For me that’s a signal that we have to do better and look at what we’ve done critically,” Miller told APTN News. “There is no denying that the pathway is very significant. It was co-developed. It’s trauma-informed but it’s also one that isn’t perfect and I think we have to be mature enough to acknowledge that.”

During Monday’s Question Period, NDP NDP MP Leah Gazan questions Miller about the national action plan Buller’s inquiry demanded.

“This government needs to immediately stop the political soundbites and instead offer meaningful solutions,” she said. “Mr. Speaker, when will this government implement the calls for justice and stop the genocide?”

Miller’s answer was short on specifics.

“This is something that we say is whole of government but applies to every minister in our cabinet. And frankly, everyone in the House to make sure we’re living up to our goals,” he said. “And the calls for justice, which are vast in nature. But first and foremost have to be trauma-informed and focused on those still suffering in silence.”

Fraser spent the last 20 years working in both print and radio in Saskatchewan – mostly in the northern part of the province. Before joining APTN’s Ottawa bureau, he was news director for the Missinipi Broadcasting Corporation working out of their Prince Albert office. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Carleton University and a diploma of journalism from Algonquin College.