Decision Maker Response

Tom Mulcair’s response

Oct 13, 2015 — Thank you for your letter regarding violence against women.

I believe one of the most urgent priorities of any government should be to put an end to the violence experienced by women, and disproportionately by too many Indigenous women and girls. An NDP government will initiate an inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women within the first 100 days of taking office.

We will also work with women’s groups and Indigenous families, communities and organizations to establish a comprehensive National Action Plan to end violence against women and girls, with dedicated funding and benchmarks. The plan would encompass a number of factors, including: education and training on human rights and gender-based violence, prevention initiatives, and intensive work with perpetrators. It would provide support for research, tools to address new and emerging forms of violence such as cyberbullying, specific programming for communities with particular needs and national public education campaigns on violence against women and girls.

We also recognize that there are barriers to women who seek to flee domestic violence. With nowhere to go, and little alternative, many women and their children are forced to stay in a violent situation or face homelessness.

We have pledged to support women and their children fleeing violence by restoring the Shelter Enhancement Program with $40 million in funding over four years. We hope to ensure that no woman in need is turned away from a shelter. Based on the previous performance of this program, this funding could create or renovate more than 2,100 spaces in first-stage shelters and nearly 350 spaces in transition houses across Canada.

When we form government, we will remove the punitive 2% cap, imposed by the Liberals and maintained by the Conservatives, on funds for First Nations social services. We’ll work to close the funding gap that sees First Nations receive less funding than other Canadians for vital services.

An NDP government will pass An Act to Ensure Secure, Adequate, Accessible and Affordable Housing for Canadians. This Act would legally require the Minister responsible for housing to sit down with the provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous governments, housing providers, and civil society organizations to create a multi-year strategy to address housing and homelessness.

The strategy would address both the needs of local communities and of particular populations, including Indigenous peoples, persons living with disabilities and women fleeing violence. In support of this strategy, we will invest over $2.7 billion over 4 years for affordable housing and homelessness programs in Canada.

This is a complex problem, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t find solutions. Rather than continuing to ignore the disproportionate violence faced by women, as previous governments have done, I am committed to ensuring that as your Prime Minister I will make ending violence against women a personal priority.

Sincerely,

Tom Mulcair
Leader, New Democratic Party of Canada