The House

Mid-week pod: the long-anticipated MMIW inquiry

Walking the walk: today on The House mid-week podcast, Minister of Status of Women Patty Hajdu joins Chris to talk about how the government plans to act, not just talk, on its plans to stop violence against indigenous women.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett announced the first steps for her government's promised inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women Tuesday afternoon in Ottawa. (CBC News)

The work has begun.

"I am pleased to announce that the government of Canada is launching its first phase of the inquiry into murdered and missing indigenous women and girls," Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said at a news conference Tuesday on Parliament Hill.

What exactly does the government want to accomplish with this inquiry?

Chris Hall sat down with the Minister of Status of Women, Patty Hajdu.

Chris Hall: Why should Canadians think your government is going to do anything different?

Patty Hajdu: It's a fair question. I think back to my work in mental health and addiction days, and there were how many reports on how to improve mental health and addiction services, and each report came out and sat on a shelf...I would say the difference is the leadership we've been seeing from our Prime Minister. I would say the difference is the commitment our Prime Minister is making, nation to nations, to people directly. I think when you have leadership that's committed to acting, it's much easier for the parts to follow.

CH: How can you fit this into a governmental cycle of four years?

PH: We don't have to wait until the inquiry is done before we take the next step. This isn't a linear process. There are some things that will come from this inquiry that are very specific to this issue, but the broader social determinants of health really are interwoven throughout our entire platform.

CH:What do you hope comes out of the inquiry?

PH: What I hope comes out is a clear guide for action. Every report is only as good as its actionable items. What I'd really like is that we have something that not only the government feels is useful, but that the communities feel is honourable and respectable and that they feel their realities are reflected and that those actions are clear and we have a path forward. 

Listen to the full interview — including Minister Hajdu's thoughts on the violence and abuse she witnessed while running Thunder Bay's largest homeless shelter — in the player above.