Saskatchewan has one of the worst records in the country when it comes to domestic violence and violence against women but, instead of taking real action and committing predictable and sustainable government funding to support victims and bring an end to these tragedies, the Sask. Party is providing only the funds raised at their black-tie fundraiser Sunday night.
“Raising much-needed money for a shelter like SOFIA House is obviously a good thing and all those who dip into their pockets and give what they can, should feel good about helping such an important cause,” said NDP Justice, Policing and Corrections Critic Nicole Sarauer. “But, it comes across as much less genuine from the Sask. Party who, for nearly a decade, have chosen to withhold the government funding and support needed to make a more significant difference for these shelters as well the women and children who rely on them. This is especially true as we see the Sask. Party making deeper cuts to funding for some of Saskatchewan’s most vulnerable.”
The fundraiser which, this year, benefits SOFIA House, is not a sustainable solution to the persistent cases of violence against women throughout the province. Meanwhile, the government’s poverty reduction strategy said it would tackle domestic violence “when the province’s fiscal capacity allows.” It took until just recently for the government to start assembling a panel to review domestic violence cases in the province, however, the panel won’t provide any recommendations until the fall of 2017.
“It’s long past time for the government to step up and help those who are in dire situations right now,” Sarauer said. “By hosting this fundraiser, the Sask. Party is clearly acknowledging government funding is not sufficient and yet, at the same time, they somehow refuse to admit that they are the cause of – and could be the solution to – the problem.”