A parliamentary committee says resource companies should be held "accountable" for the effect their projects have on the safety of Indigenous women and girls.

Members of Parliament on the Status of Women committee are calling on Ottawa to require companies undertaking these projects to "implement mandatory training" for their employees on gender-based violence and sexual violence.

The committee also recommends requiring companies to track reports of harassment and violence and ensuring natural resource development projects undergo a gender-based analysis.

The committee study into the relationship between resource development projects and violence against Indigenous women and girls follows the issue being raised by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Its final report said evidence shows that when transient, largely male workforces set up in an area to work on a major resource projects, there is an increase in cases of harassment and assault, as well as other drug and alcohol related offences against Indigenous women and girls.

The committee recommendations for Ottawa to hold companies more accountable to keep women near such projects safe were unanimously supported by MPs from all parties, including the federal Conservatives, who are proponents of resource industries like the oil and gas industry.

NDP MP Leah Gazan, who sits on the committee, acknowledged during a press conference that not all members agree on the issue of resource extraction, but believe in the need to uphold human rights and keep women safe.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 14, 2022.

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