Liberal MNAs call out CAQ for lack of leadership on Indigenous issues
Published Thursday, June 6, 2019 7:48PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 6, 2019 7:57PM EDT
The Quebec Liberals are accusing the Legault government of a lack of leadership on Indigenous issues.
The opposition party says the CAQ has said little since Monday on the release of the report on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
“There must be action that's worthy of the tragedy described in this report,” said MNA David Birnbaum, the Liberal Indigenous affairs critic.
Premier Francois Legault responded to the report’s release on Monday, calling it “a very tough report against the Canadian government and against the Quebec government.”
“I think it's clear we haven't done enough to protect those women over many years,” he said.
Those words aren't enough, argue the Liberals, who are accusing the CAQ government of staying relatively silent on the issue.
“We are disappointed by the fact that we don't see anything since Monday, and we think that this is very important to see those ministers, ministers in different sectors – we want to see them saying to the population of Quebec, the people of Quebec, that they are going to act according to this report,” said Liberal public security critic Christine St-Pierre.
Legault said ministers in his government are working together to address the issues.
“I've already asked the general secretary to make sure that each ministry has an action plan, and the public security is an important one. They have been criticized a lot in the report,” he said.
The final report from the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls singles out Quebec; it's the only province targeted by a separate report with specific recommendations.
Recommendations for Quebec include:
- creating a crisis team for cases of missing Indigenous women and girls
- creating an independent body to oversee investigations and crimes against Indigenous communities
- requiring police to compile information on rates of disappearances
The previous Liberal government was proactive on Indigenous issues, said Birnbaum, adding that he worries the CAQ isn't following suit.
“Look at some of the concrete things we did, with an action plan, $147 million attached to it, which speaks to many of the recommendations in this report about having our institutions sensitized, having the police forces understand the special character of the communities they need to deal with,” he said.