Missing aboriginal women needs government action

Lack of government action on Highway of Tears is appalling, says reader

While Canadians naturally recoil on horror when confronted by the news of rape and murder in other countries, they would be well advised to look closer to home. The widespread violence against aboriginal women in B.C. is well documented, with domestic violence against aboriginal women bring three times as likely than in other populations. Hardly a week goes by before more harrowing news is released to the media by various authorities.

The issue is a complex one, but unlike the challenges facing women in distant countries, we can easily make a real difference here in B.C. Former B.C. attorney general Wally Oppal outlined one simple solution in his report of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry: provide safe transportation between the small communities along B.C.’s highway of tears, where many women have gone missing.

While private, for profit transportation options exist, the deep poverty in some aboriginal communities ensures there will always be women hitchhiking despite the danger. They simply have no other option.

Given the incredible number of women that have gone missing along that highway, it’s crucial that the government provide safe and free transportation for these women.

If white women in the suburbs were experiencing the same fate, Christy Clark’s government would be moving heaven and earth to stop the disappearances.

Mr. Oppal suggested an easy solution, the government then ignores it and women will likely continue to disappear. Does that perhaps make the government culpable?

Nathaniel Poole,

Victoria