National News

Missing, murdered women a job for police: PM

By The Canadian Press

WHITEHORSE - Prime Minister Stephen Harper says police investigations, not a national inquiry, are the best way to deal with crimes involving missing and murdered aboriginal women.

The death of a 15-year-old aboriginal girl found wrapped in a bag and dumped in the Red River has prompted renewed calls for a national inquiry.

Tina Fontaine had been in Winnipeg less than a month when she ran away from foster care.

Her body was discovered Sunday in the river and police are treating her death as a homicide.

But Harper, who is in Whitehorse as part of his yearly trek to the North, says most such cases are addressed — and solved — by the police.

He says it's important to keep in mind that these are crimes.

"We should not view this as sociological phenomenon," the prime minister told a news conference Thursday.

"We should view it as crime. It is crime against innocent people, and it needs to be addressed as such."

The Conservative government has rejected all calls for a national inquiry into murdered and missing aboriginal women, saying it prefers to address the issue in other ways, such as through aboriginal justice programs and a national DNA missing person's index.

In May, the RCMP issued a detailed statistical breakdown of 1,181 cases since 1980. The report said aboriginal women make up 4.3 per cent of the Canadian population, but account for 16 per cent of female homicides and 11.3 per cent of missing women.

"As the RCMP has said itself in its own study, the vast majority of these cases are addressed and are solved through police investigations, and we'll leave it in their hands," Harper said.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Surrey enforcer killed on the weekend
 
Council candidate: Susan Spaeti running in District of Kent
 
Emission limits set for B.C. LNG producers
Profile: Port Alberni city council candidate Paul Pley
 
The Week — Oct. 13
 
Farrah Fawcett dies age 62
Old BC Hydro dams could be removed
 
MISSING: 22-year-old Bryan Seaton from Castlegar
 
Victoria closer to getting supervised drug injection facility

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 20 edition online now. Browse the archives.