CHARLOTTETOWN, Aug. 26, 2014 /CNW/ - As premiers and territorial leaders
gather in Charlottetown, Unifor is calling on them to push the federal
government to renew the Canada Health Accord and to call an inquiry
into murdered and missing Aboriginal women.
"Our country is in desperate need of determined political leaders who
are willing to confront complex issues. Our members hope to see that
leadership this week in Charlottetown," said Unifor National President
"For Prime Minister Stephen Harper to declare that there is no
sociological phenomenon behind the murder and disappearance of
Aboriginal women in this country is disgraceful and an indication that
he does not have the insight, understanding or leadership this country
requires," Dias said.
The death of Tina Fontaine, whose body was pulled from the Red River in
Winnipeg on August 17, has renewed calls for a public inquiry into the
murder and disappearance of more than 1,100 Aboriginal women in Canada
in the last three decades. Despite making up only 2.1 per cent of
Canada's population, Aboriginal women account for 16 per cent of female
murder victims and 11.3 per cent of women who have gone missing in
Canada, according to the RCMP.
"Only a full inquiry can get to the bottom of those troubling facts and
give us the information we need to develop an effective action plan"
Dias will be at this week's Charlottetown meeting of the Council of the
Confederation, along with Assistant to the President Deb Tveit, Unifor
Ontario Director Katha Fortier and Unifor Director of Political Action
Dias also called on the premiers to push Harper to renew the Canada
Health Accord, which expired in March. The Health Accord is crucial to
providing stable health funding and setting standards for health care
"Without the Accord, we will see increasing disparities from region to
region in the quality of care offered to Canadians," Dias said. "The
very essence of Medicare, however, is to ensure equality of care, and
the Canada Health Accord helped achieve that."
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing
more than 305,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when
the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and
Paperworkers union merged.
For further information:
Please contact Unifor Communications National Representative Stuart Laidlaw at Stuart.Laidlaw@Unifor.org or (cell) 647-385-4054.