Government must work to end violence against women

OTTAWA — As Canada 42nd Parliament began its first full day of sitting, the NDP caucus dedicated both of its allotted statements to calling for an end to violence against women.

“Twenty six years after the Polytechnique massacre, violence against women remains unacceptably high in Canada,” said NDP status of women critic Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith). “Ending violence against women and girls must be a priority for Canada’s new government.”

New Democrats are calling on the government to work with women’s groups and Indigenous families, communities and organizations to create a comprehensive and coordinated national action plan to end violence against women. The National Action Plan must be backed by dedicated funding and clear benchmarks. The plan should focus on women who are most vulnerable to violence, including Indigenous women.

Canada’s progressive opposition is also calling on the Liberals to restore the Shelter Enhancement Program ended by the Conservatives and hold an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.

“On a single night in April 2014, more than 500 women and children who were fleeing violence were turned away from shelters across this country,” said NDP housing critic Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet. “The Liberals must restore the Shelter Enhancement Program so no woman in need is ever turned away from a safe shelter.”