Human trafficking is a serious human rights violation and a clandestine crime. The consequences of this gendered violence are devastating.
In The News
Sweeping changes to Canada’s ‘broken’ family law system may be closer to becoming a reality, say longtime advocates.
MP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin) recently announced he’ll be reintroducing his private member’s bill on equal parenting in the House of Commons.
Bill C-422, which was first introduced in June 2009, would instruct family law judges to automatically apply the principle of equal shared parenting unless it’s not in the best interests of the children involved.
“Our status quo (right now) is mom is the custodial parent,” said Paulette MacDonald, a longtime family law reform advocate. “If dad is lucky, he’ll get to see the kids once every other weekend and possibly Wednesday if he’s lucky.”
But MacDonald is hopeful that practice will become history thanks to the work of family law reform advocates.
“We’re putting a lot more pressure on the government to enact change,” the Oshawa woman said.
A United Nations (UN) rapporteur on indigenous rights is still waiting for permission to enter Canada more than a year after sending the federal government a formal request.
James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous peoples, originally sent a request make an official visit to Canada in February 2012 and, despite sending two more requests, has yet to get a response from the federal government.
In a letter sent to the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) obtained by APTN National News, Anaya wrote that the Canadian government has continued to ignore his year-old request to visit Canada to investigate the “human rights situation of Indigenous peoples.”
“I have communicated with the government of Canada to request its consent for me to conduct an official visit to the country to examine and report on the human rights situation of Indigenous peoples there,” Anaya wrote in the Feb. 20 letter to UBCIC. “I initially made the request in February…
Local poverty activists and labour organization representatives presented local MPPs with symbolic blocks of ice Friday containing a pictorial representation of $10.25, which has been the minimum wage in Ontario since 2010. In the past, Ontario's minimum wage increases have happened on March 31, which is why the groups decided to take action.
Hamilton's Social Planning and Research Council and other local and provincial groups are calling for the provincial minimum wage to be raised to $14 per hour.
Deirdre Pike, senior social planner for the SPRC, said the province's minimum wage should reflect the actual cost of living, which is not currently the case. Pike said the government has kept minimum wage frozen at $10.25 for the past three years because it overestimate projections for the deficit.
“[The Ontario government] scares us into this austerity agenda, saying there's no money for this,” said Pike. “We see joblessness numbers have decreased, and people…
A bill that would make it illegal to discriminate against transgender Canadians was approved by the House of Commons today.
The Opposition private member's legislation passed by a vote of 149-137, with the crucial support of 18 Conservatives, including four cabinet ministers.
It was one of the first tests of the Conservative caucus' resolve on lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender (LGBT) rights in Canada at a time when Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has been mounting a strong defence of such rights abroad.
Baird, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Labour Minister Lisa Raitt and Heritage Minister James Moore were among the Conservatives who supported the bill. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, most of his front bench and the vast majority of his backbenchers opposed it.
Opposition parties were united in their support for the bill, sponsored by New Democrat Randall Garrison.
In the wake of the Steubenville verdict, many are feeling helpless about what to do now. Mobilizing around programs that teach everyone — especially children — the value of personhood, even if that person happens to be a woman, has become a very worthwhile cause — and it's exciting to witness the powerful conversations happening around the subject. Let's keep it going!
Another way people want to contribute is financially. Awesomely, loads of folks apparently inquired about donating to the legal fees of the victim. Back in January, Jane Doe's attorney, Bob Fitzsimmons, who took the case pro bono, said that the family wished for all donations to go to the Madden House in Wheeling, an emergency safe-shelter for women who are rebuilding their lives. Since her legal fees are covered, this seems like a fine way to honor her wishes, and help ladies at the same time.
Jezabel, March 20, 2013: Link
Nishnawbe Aski Nation has added a high-profile member to its women's council.
At a conference in Thunder Bay on Sunday, NAN women's council spokesperson Jackie Fletcher announced Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence had agreed to join.
NAN women's council spokesperson Jackie Fletcher says Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence can help empower First Nations women. NAN women's council spokesperson Jackie Fletcher says Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence can help empower First Nations women. (Nicole Ireland/CBC)
"(Spence has) raised such a profile for Aboriginal people, not just women," said Fletcher. "We need her at this level."
Spence was a participant at the conference in Thunder Bay on empowering First Nations women, along with several other delegates from Attawapiskat First Nation.
"(Women are) the ones who look after everything," she said. "They have a lot of patience, lots of love and a lot of motivation."
A Toronto criminal defence lawyer assaulted by her ex-boyfriend, a police officer, is demanding an explanation from the police union’s head about why it funded his defence, even though it involved off-duty domestic charges.
“I am directly calling into question the integrity of your organization,” Kathryn Wells writes to Toronto Police Union president Mike McCormack in her March 13 email.
“Women in our communities (particularly those involved with police officers) need to know that the Toronto Police Association does not turn a blind eye to domestic violence by funding cases of officers who are violent towards the women in their lives when they are off duty.”
After an eight-day trial in January, Ontario Court Justice Michael Epstein convicted Const. Jason Peacock, her one-time boyfriend, of assault and one count of mischief for causing more than $4,000 damage to her condo.
Wells, 35, said in her email to McCormack that throughout the case, defence…
UN officials and activists expressed relief and delight over news that an agreement had been reached at this year's Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
Greeted with cheers, the agreed outcome document of the 57th CSW, which was announced on Friday evening, was hailed as an "important step" to end violence against women and girls.
After months of behind the scenes lobbying and two weeks of difficult negotiations in New York, the outcome document included strong agreements to promote gender equality, women's empowerment, and ensure women's reproductive rights and access to sexual and reproductive health services – an area of particular contention. It reaffirmed previous international agreements on women's rights, such as those made in Cairo in 1994.
But the agreement was hard fought and civil society groups expressed "deep concern" over attempts by some conservative member states and groups to derail the process and undermine previous agreements.
Ontario is no closer to averting a spring election after Premier Kathleen Wynne’s brief meetings with Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.
Wynne huddled in her office with Horwath for 15 minutes on Thursday morning — as she had done a day earlier with Hudak.
The NDP leader, who, unlike her PC counterpart, has demonstrated a willingness to deal with the minority Liberals to stave off a $92-million election, said the talks were inconclusive.
“I left the meeting with the understanding that the premier is very clear on the issues that we’ve raised,” said Horwath, referring to her call for a 15 per cent cut in auto insurance rates, reduced wait times for home care, and action on youth unemployment.
“Lip service is one thing, but results are something else altogether. The proof will be in the pudding when we see the budget and that’s what we’re looking forward to seeing,” she said.
Toronto Star, March 14,…
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