Nahanni Fontaine was kicked out by Manitoba Speaker for using the word “Crap.”
Nahanni Fontaine, NDP MLA for St. Johns and Spokesperson for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit was kicked out of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly Chamber and was denied entry back into the House yesterday after she stood her ground refusing to withdraw her comments.
Fontaine was asking the Pallister Government questions during Question Period in the wake of the death of Jana Williams, a pregnant 28 year old Indigenous woman whose body was found near the Red River last week.
Fontaine an ardent and longtime supporter of MMIWG2S families, expressed her disheartenment with Members the ruling Conservative party who did not make any efforts to contact the family of the slain woman or attend the candle light vigil, and have failed to produce any Provincial MMIWG2S strategies since taking office in 2016.
“It’s indicative that they just don’t give a crap about Indigenous women and girls in this province”, said Fontaine while addressing the House.
Speaker of the House, Myrna Driedger took exception to Fontaine’s use of the word “ crap”, ordering Fontaine to apologize for the unparliamentary language.
The passionate, unwavering champion for MMIWG2S families who have lost their mother, sister, friend, aunt, to brutal violence, stood her ground and refused to withdraw her comment when Speaker Driedger asked Ms. Fontaine three times to take back her statement. Failing to recant, Fontaine was ordered to leave by Driedger and not return for the day.
“ A word. People should be more enraged and disgusted with the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, rather than a word,” Fointaine said after leaving the Chamber.
Premier Brian Pallister addressed Fontaine’s accusation, “ I think it’s shameful behaviour to try and cast aspersions at people who weren’t at the vigil, along with her and a few dozen people there, the Premier said.
Fontaine shot back.
“When I point out, what is fact, that the Pallister Government has done nothing to address the issue of MMIWG2S since taking office and more specifically two years after the release of the MMIWG2S National Inquiries’ Final Report and the Calls of Justice, I’m called to order for simply using a word.
“We’re in the midst of a epidemic of violence levelled against Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited. It’s ongoing and consistent. We as Indigenous women never get a break from the violence. So when I bring up the issue of MMIWG2S and in particular the recent murder of pregnant young women, in the Manitoba Legislative Assembly, and have the PC Caucus dismiss, minimize and heckle what I’m bringing forward, it’s hard to understand and digest.
“Systems that maintain status and uphold white supremacy will always attempt to silence those who point out truth. And there was no way I could allow that to go unchecked, dismissed or unchallenged.”
Fontaine is back in the House this morning, with her head held high, and more determined than ever to raise the voices of MMIWG2S in and out of the Manitoba Legislature.
“Those in positions of absolute privilege and power should be doing everything they can to shine a light of the issue of MMIWG2S instead of trying to silence and police what Indigenous women or Peoples say about this issue, inside or outside, the House. Our women, girls and two-spirit’s live depend on it” said Fontaine.