B.C.’s Highway of Tears is everyone’s problem and requires a concrete action plan, said Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty the day before he was scheduled to attend the federal government’s murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls inquiry meeting taking place in Prince George on Friday.
“We need to find a way that we’re not drawing a line in the sand or just standing there pointing fingers and saying it’s your problem,” Doherty, who is also the Official Opposition Deputy Critic for Indigenous Affairs said. “It’s our problem.”
If the government is spending millions of dollars on an inquiry, Doherty said he doesn’t want to see another report end up on a shelf.
“There have been dozens of reports that have already been done and yet we still have losses of life from all walks of life,” he said.
“We need to make sure we’re meeting to come up with sound plans and programs that provide safety, education and resources to make sure we’re building up relationships in our communities for all.”
Whether it’s lateral violence, or someone unknown to the victim committing the crime, the region has to find a way to make sure that resources are being put into concrete action, he said, noting many organizations are already providing safety programs and it’s important to work with them.
“We need to make sure we are tapping into those people who have their ears to the ground and can tell us things and provide information,” Doherty said. “We also have to make sure we’re engaging with the families and communities in developing a plan.”
The Conservative MPs made a formal request to attend the meetings and Thompson-Kamloops-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod attended the meeting in Vancouver on Tuesday.
“We’ve come out in support of this inquiry,” Doherty said. “We don’t want to see another unnecessary loss of life.”