Provincial Candidates Respond to VAW Questions, June 2018

WAWG prioritised two questions for the 2018 provincial candidates to respond to: 

 

1. How will you and your party commit to the gender based violence strategy introduced in March 2018 and follow through with fiscal commitments?

 

2. How will you support Walking Together: Ontario's long term strategy to end violence against indigenous women?

 

Candidates of Hamilton Centre, Hamilton East, Hamilton West, and Hamilton Mountains were contacted. The following are responses we have received thus far. As more candidates respond we will include their statements here. The following responses have been received: 

 

  • Linda Chenoweth - NOTA - Hamilton East (Stoney Creek)
  • Jason Lopez - GPO - Hamilton Cenre
  • Andrea Horwath - NDP - Hamilton Centre 

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Linda Chenoweth - NOTA - Hamilton East (Stoney Creek)

 

"Violence of any kind, be it emotional, sexual or physical is totally unacceptable. Everyone should be able to live their life free of violence. 

 

That being said, we have violence in our society. Addressing violence involves looking at the root causes of it —be it cultural, familial gender-based, anger-based, inability to communicate. Education is a key component to eliminating violence and expectations in the Ontario Curriculum must address violence of all kinds. Furthermore, the characteristic traits that each School Board has developed should include and model the trait of empathy if it doesn’t already. Empathetic individuals are less likely to commit acts of violence. 

 

A comprehensive plan to eliminate violence also includes early intervention, services and supports to help and heal, campaigns to modify attitudes and norms, and the funding to support this. 

 

I have read both reports and am encouraged by the depth to which they address the issue of gender-based violence for all woman and their children. I would totally support continuing to implement the programs, however, I am unable to commit to any funding dollar numbers at this time.

 

I question the Liberal commitment to these programs given their "eleventh hour" proposals which makes one question whether or not their position is only to attract votes.

 

If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to contact me. Thank you for you selfless work to help our vulnerable." 

 

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Jason Lopez - GPO - Hamilton Centre

 

"The Green Party is a big proponent of gender equality and is against violence against women, opposing all violence in general. We would commit to the gender based violence strategy. I addition we would fund more women's shelters, provide easier and more available access to counseling and raise awareness through education on this important issue.

 

The Green Party would support a long term strategy to end violence against indigenous women. We would support the Ontario Indigenous Children and Youth Strategy, whose aim is to enable First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities to have a holistic, culturally-based and community-driven approach to children and youth services. Ensure that Indigenous control is embedded as a core principle. JJ Include specific engagement and implementation plans that address the unique needs of Indigenous people in child and family services, such as Ontario’s Early Years and Child Care Framework. We would ensure adequate funding for women's shelters in indigenous communities and increase funding for daycares on First Nations which too often fall into disrepair."

 

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Andrea Horwath - NDP - Hamilton Centre 

 

"1. How will you and your party commit to the gender based violence strategy introduced in March 2018 and follow through with fiscal commitments?

New Democrats will fight gender-based violence and ensure that survivors of domestic or sexual violence are listened to, believed, and supported. We will work to prevent violence through education, training, and programs to change the behaviours of abusers. This will include access to evidence-based programs, both court ordered and voluntary, to change the behaviours of those who use violence. The NDP will use a whole-of-government approach to end gender-based violence on campuses, in workplaces, and in the community through education, prevention, and training. Further, we will apply an intersectional gender lens to government budgeting, policy, and programming.

 

An NDP government will implement the recommendations of the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee to prevent more Ontario women and children from dying at the hands of their intimate partner. We will implement trauma- and violence-informed approaches. We will fund 10 days of paid leave for women escaping violence and ensure they can access additional leave if they need it without fear of repercussions.

 

We will properly fund women’s shelters and transitional housing as well as ensure there are services and programs available to help women recover from partner violence and abuse. In addition, we will set aside a portion of the 65,000 units of affordable housing we are building for women and their families escaping violence.

 

It is also important to note that we will build capacity within Sexual Assault Centres and Workers Health & Safety Centres on workplace sexual harassment, and we will implement mandatory workplace training on domestic violence and sexual violence. Lastly, we will make the enforcement of laws against gender-based violence a priority. When survivors of sexual assaults and other gender-based violence report those crimes, we will require police to investigate them.

 

2. How will you support Walking Together: Ontario’s long term strategy to end violence against indigenous women?

 

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people in Ontario continue to face numerous systemic barriers to basic rights enjoyed by others in Ontario, including dirty water, unsafe housing, disproportionate rates of incarceration, and gendered violence. A New Democrat government will make it a top priority to ensure that Indigenous peoples in Ontario have access to basic human rights. The days of unsafe drinking water, dilapidated and unsafe schools, second-rate health care services, high rates of suicide and violence in Indigenous communities cannot continue.

 

Reconciliation demands a lot more than ceremonies and symbolic gestures. It demands good faith — and it demands action. Andrea Horwath and the NDP take the issue of violence against Indigenous peoples seriously, and we are committed to taking concrete action to solve this endemic.

 

We will build on the successes that Ontario’s last NDP government had working with First Nations, building a contemporary relationship. We will take action on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 recommendations, setting priorities in consultation First Nations and others, with a desire to move first on the recommendations related specifically to provincial jurisdiction.

 

We will increase funding for cold-case investigations, including missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, to help their families find closure — and to bring violent criminals to justice. We supported the establishment of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and we will continue to support the survivors and families as they seek answers and justice.

 

We will also work with First Nations leaders on an appropriate replacement for the Far North Act. We will work to establish new, stable revenue sources for First Nations, such as through mining royalties.

 

It is also important to note that we endorse the provincial Income Security Roadmap for Change report and its findings. We will work with the Income Security Reform Working Group, First Nations Income Security Reform Working Group, and Urban Indigenous Table on Income Security Reform to achieve the objectives laid out in the Roadmap."

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