The House of Commons is so often a stage for pre-packaged theatrics and manufactured anger that, when it occurs, genuine emotion is a stunning sight. Today, in the wake of the death of Loretta Saunders, an aboriginal woman from Nova Scotia who was researching violence against women, the NDP insisted the government do more to address the plight of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada. Megan Leslie, the NDP deputy leader and Halifax MP, stood among her peers to repeat the call for an action plan.
Leslie kept her composure, but rarely does someone in the House wear grief on their face as they question the government. Status of Women Minister Kellie Leitch responded to each question with assurances that the government has spent millions on addressing violence against women. She urged the opposition to support those efforts, and went so far as to shame the parties opposite for voting against Tory budgets—jabs that, not surprisingly, prompted boisterous jeers from the NDP side. Not a banner day for Leitch.