Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Domestic violence and the mistreatment of women and girls for any reason at any time is unacceptable. I was so encouraged yesterday by the courageous speech from the hon. Member for Lethbridge-East recounting her harrowing personal experience of domestic violence. These are hugely important issues that transcend party lines. Thank you.
That’s why it was so concerning this morning during estimates for the Status of Women ministry to hear the minister resort to name-calling and finger pointing. During my tenure as associate minister of family and community safety I was the first minister to have women’s issues as part of my mandate letter. I took this responsibility very seriously.
I proudly launched our province’s first family violence framework, put together with the aid of such notable stakeholders as Sue Tomney, CEO of the Calgary YWCA, and Lana Wells, the Brenda Strafford chair in the prevention of domestic violence at the U of C. We also completed Alberta’s first sexual violence framework, again with such notable Alberta experts as Dr. Kristopher Wells of the Institute for Sexual Minorities Studies and Services and Sheldon Kennedy, whose work in this area is internationally recognized. It was a shock to me, Mr. Speaker, to have the minister refer to these framework documents as disgusting and deplorable. The opinions of these stakeholders framed this very important work. Describing their contributions as disgusting and deplorable is disappointing and unprofessional.
Mr. Speaker, many of us who have worked in this area care deeply about these issues and were hopeful that this new government would be a collaborative and willing partner to move forward on some excellent work that’s already been done in this province. What we’re met with at the table is hostility and scorn, and it does a disservice to every single person who has suffered in the area of family violence or sexual violence in this province. Today’s behaviour by the Minister of Status of Women has done nothing to move us forward.
On November 17, 2016, Sandra Jansen sought to bring civility and respect back to the Legislature's Status of Women conversation.
PC Caucus in the Legislature
PC Caucus members have proposed and passed bills, amendments and motions. Read about them here.