Harper sides with the criminals

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The world was shocked by the news from Nigeria that the Boko Haram terror group had kidnapped close to 300 school-age girls and announced it would sell each of them as child brides for as little as $12 each.

International offers of assistance poured in. Canada said it would send surveillance equipment and technical expertise to help search for the girls.

It’s the proper thing to do. And we share in the disgust and incomprehension that anyone, for whatever misguided ideal, could participate in such a heinous crime.

If only the Canadian government could be equally as concerned about the women and girls who go missing in our own backyard.

The APTN news network dropped a bomb a couple weeks ago by revealing that the RCMP had been sitting on a report showing that the actual number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada was actually close to 1200 – double the previously accepted figure of about 600. Worse, it appears the police force had been hiding the report because of political pressure by the Harper government.

Informed speculation is that the government did not want the dramatic new figures to surface before a special Parliamentary committee into violence against Aboriginal women released its report March 7. The Prime Minister’s Office interfered in the committee’s report by suppressing a recommendation that called for a national public inquiry into the crisis.

The committee spent a year studying the issue, and analysts at the Library of Parliament had recommended that public inquiry should examine this historic crime. But Harper’s henchmen made certain that Canadians remained in ignorance over why Native women can be targeted with impunity in this country.

According to APTN, the PMO also censored a part of the report that said the actual number of women on the list could be four or five times higher than the National Women’s Association of Canada figure of 600.

It is clear that Harper, despite his so-called “tough-on-crime” credentials, is, in effect, siding with the criminals in this case.

It beggars belief. Why wouldn’t the government of the people want to understand this terrible phenomenon in Canada in which Native women can simply disappear, with their abductors rarely detected or held accountable?

The fact that they are Aboriginal, often poor and sometimes living life on the margins of society may make it easier for society to turn away. But that is no longer the case. All provincial premiers have called for an inquiry, as have all parties in the House of Commons… except for Harper’s Conservatives.

The absolute insanity of their position was clearly captured in an incident involving the prime minister’s wife, Laureen Harper, at an event in Toronto recently. A lone protester calling for an inquiry interrupted Mrs. Harper as she spoke in favour of raising funds for stray cats.

The contrast couldn’t have been clearer. Mrs. Harper, wearing costume cat ears, told the young female protester that a fundraiser for stray cats “was not the place” for a discussion of missing and murdered women, and instead invited her to donate to the effort to save stray cats.

And that puts in a nutshell. For the ruling powers in Canada, the plight of stray cats is vastly more important than the historic crime that is taking place against Aboriginal women.

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