NDP MP for Winnipeg Centre Leah Gazan speaks during a news conference about the continued loss of missing and murdered Indigenous women, Tuesday, May 2, 2023 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

House unanimously supports system to alert public when Indigenous women go missing

The House of Commons has unanimously backed a motion to declare the deaths and disappearances of Indigenous women and girls a Canada-wide emergency — and to fund a new system that would alert the public when someone goes missing.

Leah Gazan, who represents a riding in Winnipeg, presented the motion before members of Parliament this afternoon.

The MP previously led the effort for the House to recognize the residential school system as a genocide, which it did last fall.

Speaking after today’s vote, Gazan says she is glad to to see MPs recognize a “truth” in the country, but says it’s another thing to act on it.

She and other advocates have been pushing for a public alert system to be established that would send a phone notification when an Indigenous woman disappears.

Gazan has said she imagines it operating like an Amber Alert, which is an emergency notification that goes out when a child is missing and believed to be in danger.