Prime Minister Stephen Harper offers his views in a year-end interview with CBC News Chief Correspondent Peter Mansbridge. (CBC)
Text of Harper’s Comment Provided Below
OTTAWA — In a year-end interview with CBC, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said his administration does not have an inquiry into the thousands of missing and murdered aboriginal women “high on our radar.”
Sitting with CBC News chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge this past Wednesday, Harper was asked a wide variety of questions.
Harper even seems to blame family violence among First Nations for females missing by saying his government has provided more preventative programs to arrest the problem.
Below is the text of the portion of the interview that deals with the missing and murdered aboriginal women across Canada:
An inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal, indigenous women. You’ve rejected that in the past.
There seems to be some indication that your government may be at least considering some form of formal inquest or inquiry or investigation.
Um it, it isn’t really high on our radar, to be honest, Peter. You know, our ministers will continue to dialogue ah with ah those who are concerned about this.
They’re studying it. But we have an awful lot of studies and information on the phenomenon and an awful good ah indication of what the record is in terms of investigation and prevention of these sorts of things. I really think the important thing – you know, we can spend literally as we have in the past on some of these royal commissions or inquiries, we can spend hundreds of millions of dollars to get the same report for the 41st or 42nd time, or we can actually take action. And that’s what we’re trying to do. We’ve, as you know, taken strong laws to prevent and to punish ah criminal activity which a lot of this is. We’ve taken, ah made significant investments into ah preventative measures, particularly involving family violence measures on reserves and elsewhere. We’ve done things to try and enhance the legal and social status of women in aboriginal communities and reserves. You know, things like, basic things like having protections under the Human Rights Act, matrimonial property rights, these kinds of things that were not done in the past. So there’s still more work to be done but I would – I would rather spend my time focusing on what actions we can take to improve ah these situations, prevent these situations than, than have more multimillion dollar inquiries.