‘Time is crucial’: MMIWG asks for 2-year extension
The commissioners in charge of the problem-plagued national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls are asking the federal government for a two-year extension to carry out their work.
“This is a vast and complex topic,” commissioner Michèle Audette told Radio-Canada on Saturday.
She said that more time is necessary following the high-profile resignations of seven key staffers since the beginning of 2017. Audette also cited logistical issues and a lack of resources as hampering the commission’s work and slowing down progress.
“Time is precious, time is crucial and we’re asking for at least two years,” she said.
The independent national inquiry, which is tasked with examining the systemic causes of violence directed against Indigenous women and girls, has come under fire in recent months from Indigenous leaders, family members, activists and academics.
The inquiry has moved forward despite calls for resignations and a reset, with community hearings across Canada set to begin the week of Sept. 10.
‘My patience has reached its limit’
The federal government hasn’t provided commissioners with the necessary tools to do their jobs and the pace is slow when dealing with different ministries involved in the inquiry, according to Audette.
She also claims she has difficulties in getting a computer and an accessible Internet connection.
“I’m telling you that my patience has reached its limit from the point of view of a commissioner,” she said.
Audette admitted that she even considered stepping down from the inquiry due to “extremely strong” pressure that’s been imposed on commissioners from the government, the academic sector, advocacy groups and families.
“The pressure has been coming from all sides,” she said.
Despite the issues, Audette hopes that the federal government will grant the extension.
“I don’t know why, but something tells me that they can’t say no,” she said.