(David Wilks. Photo from campaign website)
APTN National News
An incumbent Conservative MP in British Columbia is under fire from the NDP after saying the federal government has no role to play in reversing the high number of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls.
Kootenay-Columbia Conservative candidate David Wilks said he doesn’t believe the issue should be viewed as one about Indigenous women, according to a published report.
“Let’s broaden it—missing and murdered people. The problem is that there are some that are just very, very difficult to solve…I don’t think when it comes to missing and murdered Aboriginal peoples that it’s fair for the government of the day…to say ‘what are you going to do about it?’ Well, I don’t know what I’m going to do about that, because some of them you’re going to solve and some of them you’re not going to solve. That’s the criminal element,” said Wilks, according to a report in The Free Press local newspaper.
Wilks is a former RCMP officer and sat on the Commons Aboriginal affairs committee.
The NDP jumped on the published quote and issued a statement from Churchill-Keewatinook Aski NDP candidate Niki Ashton.
“Mr. Wilk’s dismissive attitude towards missing and murdered Indigenous women is unacceptable,” said Ashton, in the statement. “His attitude echoes Stephen Harper who refused to launch a national inquiry because he says this crisis is not high on his radar.”
NDP leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau have both pledged to call a national inquiry into the high number of murdered and missing Indigenous women.
Conservative leader Stephen Harper has adamantly refused to call an inquiry during his time as prime minister.