October 5th, 2017

By rejecting paid leave, Wynne Liberals leave victims of violence trapped

NDP Labour, Fairness, and Work critic Cindy Forster says the Wynne Liberals have turned their backs on victims of intimate partner violence by rejecting calls for paid leave.

“This morning the Liberal government made it clear they don’t intend to support the NDP’s push for paid leave for victims of intimate partner violence, despite clear evidence that too many women are afraid to escape because they simply cannot afford to,” said Forster during question period.

Forster reminded the Wynne Liberals about testimony they heard this summer during public hearings about labour legislation, which often focused on the financial challenges faced by victims trying to flee their abusers. One speaker told them about the challenges a victim faced, who after fleeing her abuser with her three children and almost no possessions, still had to provide for the children, and make mortgage payments on the home she fled.

“New Democrats have repeatedly called for paid leave for victims who need it. The member from London West introduced two pieces of legislation; your government is stalling them,” said Forster. “New Democrats introduced amendments to Bill 148 during the clause-by-clause [that would provide 10 days paid leave]; the Liberal government voted against those amendments.”

Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government is ignoring the financial reality of victims, says Forster.

“[NDP Leader Andrea Horwath] introduced a bill that would have 10 days’ paid leave for victims of sexual and domestic violence so survivors can actually afford to take a leave, so they can afford to have time off to file police reports, so they can testify and have time off to testify in court proceedings against their abusers. But the Liberal government refuses to support this. Why is that?” asked Forster.

“Why is this government ignoring women who say paid leave will help them escape with their lives?”