So-Called "Tough on Crime" Agenda Will Put More Women and Children at
OTTAWA, April 13 /CNW/ - In an unprecedented abuse of the democratic
process, the Harper government now proposes to consolidate multiple
Conservative crime bills into a single bill, literally ramming it
through Parliament at breakneck speed, without any meaningful
discussion or debate, and regardless of the consequences to ordinary
Canadians. If passed into law, the bill will cost Canadian taxpayers
tens of billions of dollars, while putting the safety of women and
children at significant risk, says the Ad Hoc Coalition for Women's
Equality and Human Rights.
"Stephen Harper bragged about his plan to implement his proposed Law and
Order Agenda in tonight's leaders' debate, but didn't mention women
once. He proposes to "get tough on crime" but abandons proven
strategies that actually keep women and children safe, such as gun
control. In fact, his agenda will not help women and children who are
victimized. "Our government should be investing these billions in child
care, affordable housing, social, educational and health services, all
of which are proven means to prevent crime and benefit all Canadians,"
said Kim Pate of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies.
Imprisoning woman for a year in federal prison costs an average of
$185,000. Over 80% of women in prison are incarcerated for
poverty-related offences. Eighty-two per cent of women who are
federally sentenced in Canada have experienced physical or sexual
abuse, 75% have less than a junior high school education, 34% are
Indigenous, and the majority live with mental health issues.
"Money allocated to the tough on crime agenda would be better spent
addressing poverty, education, violence against women, mental health
issues, homelessness, addictions, and services that enable women and
children to escape violent situations," said Leighann Burns of the
Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH), the
largest shelter association in Canada. "Nobody wants crime, but this
tax money is better spent preventing violence and other crimes and the
factors that lead to crime rather than building prisons. There are
currently over 580 documented cases of missing and murdered First
Nations, Inuit and Metis women in this country but not a single word
about that from Mr. Harper. Canadian women expect more."
The Conservative government fell on a non-confidence motion, following
revelations that it had withheld critical information regarding the
costs implementation of its 'law and order agenda' would impose,
leading to the current election.
The Ad Hoc Coalition for Women's Equality and Human Rights is comprised
of 37 organizations including women's organizations, human rights
organizations and Canada's major unions.
SOURCE Ad Hoc Coalition for Women's Equality and Human Rights
For further information:
For interviews or more information about the Ad Hoc Coalition for Women's Equality and Human Rights, please contact:
Claire Tremblay at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 613-234-8252 ext: 103, or
Kim Pate at email@example.com or telephone 613-298-2422