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Ontario scraps women’s abuse panel

  • November 5, 2018

News that Ontario’s provincial government had disbanded its roundtable of experts on violence against women has Catholic Family Services woman abuse specialist Shereen McFarlane worried.

“This action is not indicative of a government who is interested in consulting,” McFarlane wrote in an e-mail to The Catholic Register.

The Conservative government pulled the plug on the panel of experts on Oct. 16, in the middle of the month that is marked across North America as Domestic Abuse Awareness Month.

“Although we recognize the valuable advice your members have provided, we will not be reconvening this particular roundtable created by the previous government,” Community and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod wrote in a letter to roundtable participants. 

“In the near future, however, I look forward to working with representatives across various sectors to advance the empowerment of women across the province and to address violence against women and human trafficking.”

“I am not reassured by the minister’s claim of consulting by other means,” said McFarlane. 

“‘By other means’ is vague and not specific, so it seems as though there is no plan to consult on policies that will directly or indirectly affect women experiencing abuse in their relationships.”

Ontario recorded 53 murders of women in the first eight months of 2018, half of all femicides in Canada. 

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