Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Examine 'Monstrous' Allegations of Forced Sterilization of Indigenous Women: NDP

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Examine 'Monstrous' Allegations of Forced Sterilization of Indigenous Women: NDP

Article excerpt

Feds must examine forced sterilization: NDP

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OTTAWA - 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 before he pressed for answers in the House of Commons.

Coerced sterilization clearly breaches human-rights standards that Canada must fight to uphold, Saganash in an interview Monday, and said that 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.

That international agreement 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."

Canadians should not tolerate allegations of forced sterilization in their country, Saganash said, and Ottawa must address the issue as victims share their stories.

"I think they have to take this seriously," said the Cree lawyer and MP from northern Quebec. "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 for 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.

An additional 32 women have come forward to report they were sterilized without consent since The Canadian Press first published a story last Sunday, associate Alisa Lombard said Monday, noting the women are mostly from Saskatchewan but elsewhere as well. …

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