NDP women's critic Niki Ashton, centre, speaks during a press conference in Ottawa, with Bridget Tolley, left, from Families of Sisters in Spirit and Laurie Odjick on February 14, 2013. (ANDRE FORGET/QMI Agency)
OTTAWA - The federal government committed to create a special committee on missing and murdered aboriginal women Thursday, but this move falls short of longstanding requests levelled by aboriginal organizations and opposition parties for a national inquiry.
The government agreed to evaluate "public policy issues" related the murders and disappearances of First Nations women but the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Justice said the feds are "providing significant resources to law enforcement and victims."
"The murder and abduction of women in this country is completely unacceptable," said Kerry-Lynne Findlay.
The decision to strike a committee comes a day after Human Rights Watch (HRW) - an international watchdog organization - released a scathing report citing allegations of "abusive" police practices towards indigenous women by RCMP officers in Northern B.C.