The tragic death of Tina Fontaine has brought renewed calls for a public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.
There may be some who worry that a public inquiry will turn up things that cast a negative light on our history as a nation. That may be true. But facing the truth will not weaken us, it will strengthen us, both now and in the long run. It takes true courage and strength to face our past in an open and honest way.
The fact is that this is an ongoing problem. So it’s not enough to investigate deaths after they happen. We need to find a way to prevent the deaths from happening, and an inquiry could help achieve that goal.
A public inquiry would accomplish something else of importance as well. It would send a clear message that the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women is seen as worthy of national attention.
Injustice and despair thrives in the shadows. An inquiry could bring these things into the light. An inquiry would send a message that, while we can’t change our past, we are willing to learn from it.
Yes, an inquiry could bring up some dark truths. Yet, by facing those truths with clear eyes and open hearts, we can learn, grow, and respond together, as one nation.
I believe that Canada will not achieve our full potential until all who live within our borders feel respected and valued, and feel like an equal part of our Canadian family.
A public inquiry would be an important step along the road to healing, and greater security for all. That is why I support a public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.