McGuinty Government Helps Vulnerable Women Learn About Their Rights Under Ontario Family Law



    Public Legal Education Will Help Women Make Informed Decisions

    TORONTO, Aug. 16 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is launching a public
education campaign to ensure that Ontario women know their legal rights under
Ontario family law, announced Minister Responsible for Women's Issues Sandra
Pupatello.
    "We want to help women who may be isolated and do not have access to
accurate and relevant information on how the law works, so that they are aware
of their choices and options in family issues," Pupatello said. "This project
will help more women make informed decisions for themselves and their
families."
    The McGuinty government is providing $1.3 million in funding to a
consortium led by YWCA Toronto and made up of 24 women's organizations. The
group will develop public legal education materials and outreach activities
that will help women make informed decisions about family law issues.
    "It is very exciting to work with the Ontario government on the Family
Law Education for Women Project," said YWCA Toronto Chief Executive Officer
Heather McGregor. "Working on a consortium with 24 other women's and community
groups that are reflective of the diversity of the province in order to
address the complexities of women's family law issues has been quite
extraordinary. We are grateful that the Ontario government recognizes and
understands the significance of this initiative for vulnerable and isolated
women."
    Information on family law is also available on the Ministry of the
Attorney General website at www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca in the Family
Justice section.
    "Our government has ensured that potentially vulnerable people are
protected under family law and that they can exercise their rights," said
Attorney General Michael Bryant. "Today's announcement by Minister Pupatello
is another great way to ensure that women in Ontario are informed of their
rights."
    This is just one more example of how working with Ontario communities,
the McGuinty government has achieved results in helping vulnerable women,
including:

    
    -   Spending more than $190 million annually to provide violence against
        women services across government. This includes more than $82 million
        in new funding over four years to the Domestic Violence Action Plan
        to provide better community-based supports, implement public
        education and training strategies, strengthen Ontario's criminal and
        family justice systems response, and provide better access to French-
        language services
    -   Providing $4.6 million since 2003 through the Women in Skilled Trades
        program to help low-income women develop new skills in the skilled
        trades
    -   Investing $2.7 million over two years to provide information
        technology training and $4 million over two years to 10 Employment
        Training Pilot Programs for low-income women.
    

    "With this initiative, our government can help women get the information
they need to make the best possible decisions for their families," said
Pupatello.

    
    Disponible en français

                        www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/owd


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    MCGUINTY GOVERNMENT HELPS VULNERABLE WOMEN LEARN ABOUT THEIR RIGHTS UNDER
                             ONTARIO FAMILY LAW
    

    The McGuinty government is providing $1.36 million in funding over two
years to help vulnerable women learn about their rights and options under
Ontario family law. A consortium of women's organizations, led by the YWCA
Toronto, has been established to develop public legal education materials and
community outreach activities.
    The management committee, which has overall responsibility for the
project, currently consists of:

    
    -   YWCA Toronto
    -   YWCA Canada
    -   Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes (AOcVF)
    -   Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW)
    -   Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO)
    -   Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women & Children
        (METRAC)
    -   Springtide Resources
    

    The reference group, which advises the management committee, currently
consists of:

    
    -   Arab Community Centre of Toronto (ACCT)
    -   Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic
    -   Canadian Federation of University Women - Ontario Council (CFUW - OC)
    -   Centre des ressources de l'Est d'Ottawa/Eastern Ottawa Resource
        Centre
    -   Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women and
        Children (CREVAWC)
    -   Centre Novas, Centre d'aide et de lutte aux agressions à caractère
        sexuel de Prescott-Russell
    -   Disabled Women's Network Ontario (DAWN)
    -   Immigrant Women Services Ottawa (IWSO)
    -   Jewish Women International (JWI)
    -   Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (OCRCC)
    -   Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI)
    -   Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres (OFIFC)
    -   Ontario Native Women's Association (ONWA)
    -   Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services (PICS)
    -   Service Coalition in the South Asian Community
    -   Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Rights & Democracy
    -   Faye Peterson Transition House, Thunder Bay

    Disponible en français

                        www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/owd
    





For further information:

For further information: Kathleen Murphy, Minister's Office, (416)
325-0362; Donna Piasentini, Communications Branch, (416) 314-7012

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