Photo: Fred Chartrand, The canadian Press
The federal commission of inquiry on aboriginal women, chaired by Marion Buller and to which the seat Michèle Audette (pictured), had to submit to the government a request for an extension of its mandate and substantial budgets before Christmas.
How much time and money does it take in addition to the national survey on aboriginal women to complete his work ? The commissioners had promised to encrypt by placing a formal request for a mandate extension before the end of the year 2017. The cut-off date is, however, placed, without the formal request is forwarded to the federal government. This will be done at the beginning of the new year, is now in the team.
“We do not take this request for an extension to the light, and we are working diligently to submit our request to the prime minister at the beginning of year 2018,” noted this week, a press officer for the investigation, Nadine Gros-Louis, to the Duty.
The fall was responsible for the commission of national inquiry on missing and murdered aboriginal women. The commissioners have held hearings with families of victims or survivors in six canadian cities — including Maliotenam, on quebec’s North Shore. The team also had to manage five resignations, including those of two of its lawyers — and three dismissals. When the hearings were completed in Thunder Bay in December, ” we was tired “, was Friday, the commissioner Michèle Audette Duty.
The commissioners had hammered this fall, they would send their formal request for the extension of its mandate to the government before Christmas. But they ran out of time, ” said Ms. Audette, who admits to having been disappointed not to be able to meet the timelines that they set. “This is the result of a slowdown “, she says, citing also ” the lack of human resources “. The team was on the field all fall to participate in the hearings. It has been impossible to prepare simultaneously the application detailed that the commissioners want to be able to present to the minister of Relations Crown-Aboriginal, Carolyn Bennett, and prime minister Justin Trudeau.
This will be done “next week,” said Michèle Audette, who did not want to specify the supplementary budget that will be claimed before it is done by the official channels.
The term of office of two years of the national survey must be completed by the end of the year 2018. A budget of 53.8 million had been spent.
The chief commissioner, Marion Buller, had argued, in submitting the interim report of the commission of inquiry in November, that his team had “need enough time to do our work properly,” — alluding to the five-year term, was granted to the truth and reconciliation Commission on aboriginal residential schools. Minister Bennett did not comment on this first informal request for a mandate extension. The commissioners Buller and Audette have suggested, over the months, they require two more years in Ottawa.
The direction of the country’s indigenous communities has supported this possibility, at a meeting of the national Assembly of First Nations in December. But the chiefs have at the same time called for the dismissal of the chief commissioner, and Marion Buller.
The national survey has not only lost eight employees this fall, but in total, 12 resignations — of which one of its commissioners, Marilyn Poitras, and its executive director, Michèle Moreau — and four layoffs that have been going on since the creation of the commission in August 2016.
“Throughout the fall, the priority of the commissioners and employees has been to advance the process of recording the truth and honor the stories of our loved ones and survivors,” argued Nadine Gros-Louis, in a written statement to the Duty. “We have been entrusted with a responsibility that is sacred and we only have one opportunity to make things right. “
The commissioners were scheduled to resume their hearings at the end of January in Yellowknife, in the northwest Territories, and continue their work in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, at the end of February.