OTTAWA – The Liberal government is expected to provide some additional information Tuesday about its long-promised public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.
Status of Women Minister Patty Hajdu admitted Monday the Liberals are in the “very beginning stages” of their work and have no pre-conceived ideas about what the inquiry should look like.
Some key questions include what the mandate will be and how many commissioners will be in charge of the inquiry, which is expected to last up to two years and carry a $40 million price tag.
“We just really want to make sure that we honour the families and the communities,” Hajdu said outside the Commons.
“There’s a lot of provincial and territorial work that has been done as well in national aboriginal organizations. So, for us, it is making sure that everybody has a chance to shape this.”
Hajdu will join Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould for an inquiry-related announcement Tuesday, although no further details have been provided.
The event is scheduled to follow an address from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is speaking to chiefs gathered across the river in Gatineau, Que., for an event hosted by the Assembly of First Nations.
The prime minister is expected highlight the need to develop a nation-to-nation relationship with Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples – a promise repeated in Friday’s throne speech.
Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose said she supports the inquiry – a stark contrast from her predecessor, who frequently rebuffed demands for further study.
“It’s something that I think we should do,” Ambrose said. “I believe very strongly that anything that we can do as a Parliament to support what is a very tragic situation among aboriginal women in this country.”
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, who wanted to launch an inquiry within 100 days if his party formed government, said he is awaiting details on specifics.
“Getting it done right, taking time to define the mandate, nobody is going to quibble with that,” Mulcair said.
“Are they announcing a full national inquiry into murdered and missing indigenous women? If the answer is yes, they will have our full support.”