NDP push for better supports for victims of domestic violence

The federal government as well as other provinces in Canada are moving towards allowing victims of domestic violence paid days off. After being vocal on this issue in the Legislature and in public for many years, the NDP is once again renewing its call to pass legislation to provide this support.

“We all know that the impacts of domestic violence are devastating to the victims, which is why providing the necessary supports is so crucial,” said NDP Justice Critic Nicole Sarauer. “After seeing the steps that other provinces, and now the federal government, have taken on this file, we are hopeful the Sask. Party will follow suit and finally support the legislation we and so many others have been calling for.”

The federal government announced this week that they will allow employees in federally-regulated workplaces five days paid time off to leave abusive partners and to deal with the trauma and turmoil of domestic violence.

Manitoba and Ontario already offer five days paid time off for survivors, and Premier Gallant of New Brunswick announced this summer proposed changes to provide five days off with pay as well. Prince Edward Island and Quebec are currently developing some form of paid leave for survivors.

Sarauer has introduced a bill several times that would ensure that survivors of domestic violence have the right to five days of paid leave, up 17 weeks of unpaid leave if needed, and ensure that survivors living with PTSD are supported. However, the Sask. Party have not shown the willingness to take this step. What’s worse, the Sask. Party’s sell-off of the STC has further hurt victims of domestic violence, according to a survey just released by the Provincial Association of Transition Houses.

“It’s well documented that Saskatchewan has one of the worst records of domestic violence in Canada,” Sarauer said. “We simply can’t afford to be the province that lags behind anymore.”