Replacing 911 for “those people”

During the last election campaign, a barbaric cultural practices hotline was proposed by then Status of Women Minister Kellie Leitch and then Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. It was intended to allow “citizens and victims” to report crimes like forced marriage, polygamy, female genital mutilation and honour killings.

While election campaigning for the Conservatives, Chris Alexander and Kellie Leitch stood side by side to announce the plan for a ‘barbaric cultural practices’ hotline. Photo: Government of Canada.

Canadians acknowledge that these are horrible crimes.

Since the Criminal Code of Canada was first enacted in 1892 it contained “offences and procedures” that continue to cover any of the above. In terms of reporting these crimes to the proper authorities, conversion to 911 in Canada began in 1972 has been available in all jurisdictions for a long time.

So, what was the point of that?

Most political analysts believe that Leitch and Alexander were attempting to use the politics of “fear and division” to give the Conservatives a boost in the polls. It didn’t work, and both have shown remorse since they lost the election. Although, not because it was a bad idea, or completely unnecessary. They regret not packaging it correctly to Canadians so they would vote for them.

Despite disavowing the hotline, Alexander – like Leitch – said the underlying value behind the announcement is important.

During the Leadership contest for the Conservative Party of Canada. We have seen Leitch promoting even stronger anti-immigrant rhetoric. She hasn’t changed, and it is why we believe we must join the party to vote against her.  We cannot give her a chance to become Prime Minister.

Evidence of Poor Management? Further criticisms of proposed hotline.

  • RCMP was never consulted on the proposed hotline. (Because if you’re interested in stopping crime, don’t call the police, call Chris n’ Kellie instead!)
  • Additional expense for government requiring funding through taxation. (We like 911 so much, we should pay for it twice!)
  • No effort to legally differentiate female genital mutilation from circumcision or piercing young children’s ears before launch. (Every Mohel in the country was reported to Chris n’ Kellie!)

Bad policy, bad management, please do not give these candidates the chance to repackage this idea again.


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