One year ago, the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls delivered its landmark report to the federal government. Since then, advocates and family members say, Ottawa hasn’t done a whole lot.
The Liberal government was to deliver an action plan by now to address some of the recommendations from the report, which called for an overhaul of how police forces handled cases of violence towards Indigenous women and girls.
The government says the action plan has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Native Women’s Association of Canada, which released its own report today, said very little has changed in the past year and it is unclear what concrete steps the government will take in the future.
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U.S. military police stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, a stark image of how much force the White House is using in response to protests against police brutality. U.S. President Donald Trump said his deployment of soldiers in the nation’s capital should be a model followed by governors. Those protests, sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, continue around the U.S. and Canada. The state of Minnesota has launched a civil-rights investigation against the Minneapolis police.
For those who suggest it doesn’t happen here: the RCMP say they have asked an outside police force to investigate one of its officers in Nunavut, who drove a truck into an Inuk man.
The parliamentary chairs of the foreign-affairs committees of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom are calling on the United Nations to appoint a special envoy to Hong Kong.
The UN will go ahead with its votes for the rotating seats on the Security Council in two weeks using new physical distancing protocols.
The Bank of Canada says it thinks the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic has “peaked," although there is high uncertainty about how the economy will recover.
And Sweden’s top epidemiologist, who was the architect of the country’s plan to mostly remain open in a pandemic, said his strategy has possibly caused more deaths than intended. “If we were to run into the same disease, knowing exactly what we know about it today, I think we would end up doing something in between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world has done,” Anders Tegnell said.
Alana Robert (The Globe and Mail) on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls: “The trend of violence against Indigenous women continues, regardless of the season. Many are desensitized, as the reality of MMIWG has become normalized. But we should be horrified by each of these stories. Indigenous women and girls are not disposable. Each of these deaths and disappearances represents the life and spirit of a human being who was gifted and loved. We must recognize this reality to transform it. Without action, we will be complacent in genocide, only enabling it to continue. We will be depriving Indigenous women and girls from reaching their full potential.”
Erica Ifill (The Hill Times) on anti-black racism: “Police forces look like terrorist organizations intent on the destruction and elimination of black lives. To deny this is to deny that water is wet. Their history has gone from slave patrols in the U.S. and violently moving Indigenous people off the land in Canada, to carrying out state-sanctioned violence today.”
Josephine Mathias (National Post) on the steps that can be taken to address anti-black racism: “All of them will take time. None of them will be enough on their own. And they will all have setbacks and failures along the way. But if we stick to them — better education, improved policing, drug reform, health-care reform — we would slowly, achingly slowly, begin to take steps toward repairing a racial justice system that has been broken for far too long.”
Sheema Khan (The Globe and Mail) on what Muslim Canadians can teach Asian Canadians about dealing with discrimination: “With the possibility of a ‘Cold War’ with China, Canadian security agencies might begin interviewing Chinese-Canadians. These interviews can be traumatic, inducing fear. Community members should be educated about their rights prior to such interviews, along with their duty to speak truthfully. Recourse to legal assistance will be necessary. In addition, there should be lines of communication open between advocacy organizations and CSIS."