NDP MP Romeo Saganash stands during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

NDP MP Romeo Saganash stands during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Examine ‘monstrous’ allegations of forced sterilization of Indigenous women: NDP

The issue of forced sterilizations will also be raised at the UN Committee Against Torture

The federal government and the provinces must examine “monstrous” allegations of modern-day forced sterilizations of Indigenous women, NDP reconciliation critic Romeo Saganash said Monday.

Saganash, who is planning to raise the issue in the House of Commons, said that coerced sterilization clearly breaches human-rights standards that Canada must fight to uphold.

Authorities should very carefully read Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide adopted by the UN in 1948, Saganash said.

It says that “genocide” includes any acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, such as by “imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.”

No Canadians should tolerate allegations of forced sterilization in their country, Saganash said, adding that Ottawa must take concrete steps to address the issue as victims share their stories.

“I think they have to take this seriously,” said the MP from northern Quebec, who is Cree. “Just the fact that it is happening and people are coming out makes it serious enough to look for a solution.”

The issue of forced sterilizations will also be raised at the UN Committee Against Torture this week, when Amnesty International Canada and a national law firm call for accountability on the practice.

Maurice Law is leading a proposed class-action lawsuit against the federal government, the government of Saskatchewan, all its health authorities, and individual medical professionals.

The lawsuit was launched in 2017 by two affected women in the Saskatoon Health Region who each claimed $7 million in damages. Now about 60 women are part of the lawsuit.

In its submission to the UN committee, the law firm said there has been no effort at a comprehensive review to understand the scale of the problem or the conditions that make forced sterilizations possible.

It also listed a number of solutions, including a proposal to specifically criminalize forced sterilization as the “single most effective, immediate and enduring measure that could be taken” to protect women from this practice.

Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott recently said in an interview that forced sterilizations are a serious violation of human rights and said Canada must look at policies, education and awareness-raising to ensure the practice stops.

Yvonne Boyer, a Metis senator for Ontario, has said tubal ligations carried out on unwilling Indigenous women are one of the “most heinous” practices in health care happening across Canada.

Amnesty International Canada has recommended the federal government appoint a special representative to examine the prevalence of the practice across the country.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde also wants to see the scope of forced sterilization examined and called the practice wrong, immoral and a “gross violation” of human rights.

Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

A conceptual rendering of the commercial plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road. (Town of Ladysmith/June 15 Council Agenda)
Rocky Creek commercial plaza passes public hearing

The proposed plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road would bring commercial activity to Ladysmith’s north end

Kate Cram and her team at Old Town Ice Cream are thrilled to be open for business. (Cole Schisler photo)
Old Town Ice Cream opens up right on time for summer

Located at 539 1st Avenue, Old Time Ice Cream is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Volunteers Alex Cook, Ron Dashwood, and Bill Drysdale have been hard at work restoring the old Ladysmith train station. (Cole Schisler photo)
Train station restoration on track for future community open house

Community is asked to give feedback on what they think the best use is for the station

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
‘Springsteen on Broadway’ clears way for AstraZeneca recipients to attend show

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Most Read