OTTAWA – Five years on, the Green Party of Canada is calling on the federal government to immediately implement the unfulfilled Calls to Action outlined in the 2015 report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), and the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).
“Five years on and there are still Calls to Action that remain unfulfilled, and that is simply unacceptable,” said Green Party Leader Annamie Paul. “There was initial optimism when the TRC report was first released that the government would move expeditiously to implement all 94 recommendations, but unfortunately this has not been the case.
“We acknowledge Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett’s statement this week that 80 per cent of the Calls to Action are completed or underway. However, for those whose lives were, and continue to be, so cruelly impacted this is not good enough. Senator Murray Sinclair pointed out earlier this week that we are losing survivors of Residential Schools every day, survivors who were unable to finally bear witness to significant change. In a year that has seen First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples continue to suffer from police brutality, racism and the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is unfair and unjust that we are unable to fulfill promises made.”
Green caucus critic for crown-Indigenous relations and Indigenous services Jenica Atwin (MP, Fredericton) stated: “The delay in implementing the Calls to Action is unacceptable. This is especially important as we are discussing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in the House of Commons. How can we trust that the government’s approach will be a step toward true reconciliation when we have yet to follow the roadmap already laid out for us in the TRC calls to action and the calls for justices from the final report of the national inquiry into MMIWG?”
Ms. Paul also highlighted that 59 long-term drinking water advisories remain outstanding in 41 Indigenous communities in Canada. “The suffering endured by people in these communities is unconscionable in a country as rich as Canada. Righting the wrongs that have been committed, and that continue to be perpetrated needs to be a top priority.
“First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples are an essential part of participatory democracy and their leadership is needed at the decision-making table to guide our country through these times of unprecedented change. The Green Party calls for the immediate implementation of all 94 Calls to Action from the TRC, and that the calls for justice from the Final Report of the National Inquiry into MMIWG be immediately enacted. We would also like to see the advancement of measures to implement a national action plan to make life safer for Indigenous women and girls, as promised in June.
Finally, we request that swift action be taken to remediate the outstanding drinking water advisories in Indigenous communities, the most basic of human rights, before we ask these same communities to trust the government's good will to implement UNDRIP."
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