MP Charlie Angus – Will the Government Stand up for Indigenous Youth

National Politics

I found it troubling Public Safety Minister Wouldn’t Get Up

OTTAWA – The issue of Indigenous Youth in Thunder Bay was raised during Question Period in the House of Commons on Monday. Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus sought to get support from Minister Ralph Goodale to bring in a team from the RCMP to work with Indigenous leaders to find solutions.

Angus states, “I asked Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to commit an RCMP team to work with Indigenous leaders to investigate the frightening number of youth deaths in Thunder Bay. He wouldn’t get up to answer. I found this very troubling.”

Here is the exchange from Question Period:

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP): Mr. Speaker, 17-year-old Braiden Jacob came to Thunder Bay for grief counselling and now he is dead. He joins 14-year old Josiah Begg, 17-year-old Tammy Keeash, 15-year-old Jordan Wabasse, and so many other Indigenous youths who have died violently in Thunder Bay. They were victimized after being forced to leave their communities because the government refuses to provide adequate schools or provide services.

Will the Minister of Public Safety commit an RCMP team to work with indigenous leaders to find out why so many young indigenous youth are dying in Thunder Bay?

No more fallen feathers.

Hon. Jane Philpott (Minister of Indigenous Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for raising this solemn issue.

Our hearts go out to the family of Braiden. We are grieving with that community. I reached out to the chief today. I also spoke to the grand chief of the region to express our condolences.

The community where Braiden is from, the community of Webequie, is an area where we have made significant investments in mental wellness care. We will continue to make those investments. This is for all Canadians to work together to bring justice and ensure the safety of indigenous youth.