Cultural genocide? Forced sterilizations of Canadian Indigenous women are occurring and the Trudeau government is ignoring the UN Committee Against Torture’s report calling on Ottawa to investigate “all allegations of forced or coerced sterilization” and hold those responsible accountable. The response? The federal government said it wouldn’t amend the Criminal Code to outlaw it, saying existing criminal provisions were enough. Here is a list of MPs emails
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale’s office says it recognizes barriers keep victims from coming forward
Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Ralph Goodale’s office is encouraging victims of coerced sterilization to come forward. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
An NDP MP has written to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale urging him to use “all legitimate tools” to have the RCMP open an investigation into coerced sterilization allegations that have come from mostly Indigenous women across the country.
About 100 allegations of coerced sterilization have surfaced across the Prairies and in Ontario and Quebec since 2017, when a lawsuit was filed in Saskatchewan.
Don Davies, NDP MP for Vancouver Kingsway, handed the letter to Goodale on Thursday after question period.
“I … request that you use all legitimate tools at your disposal to ensure that the RCMP opens an investigation into all allegations of forced or coerced sterilization within its jurisdiction in Canada and lay appropriate charges against those responsible for committing them,” wrote Davies in the letter.
In a statement, Goodale’s office said coerced sterilization was “a serious violation of human rights.”
However, the statement sidestepped Davies’ request saying that the RCMP is one of 300 police forces across Canada and can’t investigate crimes outside of its jurisdiction. “We encourage anyone with specific criminal allegations to report them to the police of jurisdiction,” said the statement. “There is no time limit to report an assault to police.”
Davies said in an interview that Ottawa was ignoring its international obligations as a party to the UN Convention Against Torture which requires governments to proactively investigate violations of human rights.