Ending violence against women includes keeping federal long gun registry

OTTAWA, Dec. 3 /CNW Telbec/ - On the 20th anniversary of the Montreal massacre, the Public Service Alliance of Canada is calling on all Members of Parliament to reject a private Member's bill that will eliminate the need to register rifles and shotguns and destroy more than eight million records in the federal long gun registry.

"This extreme example of violence against women will forever be branded in our collective memory," says PSAC national executive vice-president Patty Ducharme. "After this crime was committed, women and men across the country turned their grief into action. Yet, 20 years later, violence against women remains endemic."

According to John Edmunds, national president of the Union of Solicitor General Employees component of the PSAC, spousal deaths by guns have been reduced by 50 percent since gun owners were required to register long guns. "The registry allows police to check households for the presence of firearms which is especially important in the case of domestic disputes."

Ducharme asks why the federal Conservative government is so intent on dismantling a program that has proven its effectiveness in reducing violence against women by voting for Bill C-391, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act (repeal of long-gun registry).

PSAC is calling on governments at all levels to implement real solutions to violence against women by adopting and improving vital social and economic programs. These include childcare, social housing, increased welfare benefits, access to justice, programs that ensure women with disabilities can surmount the multiple barriers they face, employment equity for immigrant and racialized women, adequate pensions and security for Aboriginal women.

"Women need economic autonomy and a social safety net to flee violence and find safety," says Ducharme.

PSAC members across the country are joining in community vigils and other events to mark December 6. They are organizing letter-writing campaigns and will be visiting Members of Parliament who voted for Bill C-391, asking them to reconsider their position.

"On this sad anniversary of the Montreal massacre, the PSAC and our members want more than commemoration and empty promises; we want effective government action to end violence against women now and that includes maintaining the federal long gun registry."

SOURCE PSAC

For further information: For further information: and to book interviews: Alain Cossette, PSAC Communications, (613) 293-9210


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