Recently our member of parliament, Ryan Leef, made much of the fact that he voted against his party, the Conservatives headed by Stephen Harper.
The party allowed him to vote for a bill that would have initiated an inquiry into murdered and missing aboriginal women. However, the bill still did not pass, even though Leef voted for it, and nothing will be done to remedy this problem.
While the federal government serves many purposes, surely one of its most important mandates is to offer protection to Canada’s most vulnerable citizens. Harper’s government obviously sees First Nation women as not worth of any effort at all, and has thus refused to take even a small step towards ensuring their safety.
Leef’s vote for an inquiry counts for nothing. The Conservatives allowed him to vote in support of an inquiry because they knew there was no chance his one vote would actually help the private member’s bill to pass. And there was an opportunity to make Leef look as if he really cared about his constituents.
But make no mistake about this vote. Leef still stands for the Conservatives, the party that not only doesn’t care about a few disposable indigenous females, but is actively taking steps to strip away what little influence was granted to Canada’s First Nations when they settled land claims.
Come next autumn, I will not be voting for the uncaring, elitist Conservative Party that Leef represents.
Dorothea Talsma Whitehorse