September 15, 2014 - 2:28 PM
OTTAWA - The federal government has released details of its plan to address the issue of violence against aboriginal women and girls.
Labour Minister Kellie Leitch, who is also minister for the status of women, says the plan consists of a range of measures to address the problem.
They include the development of more community safety plans both off and on reserves and projects to break intergenerational cycles of violence and abuse.
The plan also proposes projects to empower aboriginal women and girls to denounce and prevent violence.
The last budget earmarked $25 million over five years to address crimes against aboriginal woman and girls.
The government has steadfastly refused calls from the opposition and aboriginal groups for a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.
New Democrat MP Niki Ashton urged the government again on Monday to set up an inquiry.
"The government has a responsibility to help end the violence against indigenous women," she said in the Commons.
Leitch said there have been 40 such studies already.
"Now is not the time for another study, another look by the lawyers," she said. "Now is the time for action."
Leitch said the newly released plan is evidence of the government's commitment.
The largest single chunk of the $25 million is $8.6 million allocated for community safety plans.
The government says overall it has budgeted almost $200 million over five years to deal with violence against aboriginal women, including $158.7 million for shelters and family violence prevention activities, starting next year.
The government also plans to establish a DNA-based missing persons index and pledges better liaison between police and the families of victims.
"These abhorrent acts of violence will not be tolerated," Leitch said in a statement.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2014