The PQ wants to create a full-fledged ministry for the Status of Women

The PQ wants to create a fully-fledged Ministry of Condition feminine

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Accusing the government of not paying enough attention to the issues of domestic violence, the leader of the Parti Québécois has promised to create a full-fledged ministry for the Status of Women, if elected.< /strong> 

The announcement comes just days after the murder of Gisèle Itale Betondi, a mother of three, in Lasalle. Her ex-husband and father of the children was charged yesterday. This is not his first domestic violence charges and he was forbidden to approach his ex-spouse.

Paul St-Pierre Plamondon recalled that since the beginning of 2022, there have been 8 feminicides in Quebec. “It's about one a month,” he illustrated. 2021 has also been a deadly year for women. “26 women were killed, 2/3 of them in a marital context, this is unacceptable,” he added.

“Unacceptable” results

With an annual budget of approximately $50 million, this Ministry for the Status of Women would, for example, be responsible for ensuring the effectiveness of an action plan to combat domestic violence. Currently, the condition is a secretariat and the Minister Delegate, Isabelle Charest, reports to the Minister of Executive Council.

“We think that a ministry with expertise, power and budgets will allow us to be more proactive and to follow up properly because it is important to us, this situation is unacceptable,” said the chief.

A minister would also have more influence within the council of ministers, believes the chief. On this subject, he suggests that the current Minister Delegate Isabelle Charest does not listen to her leader, François Legault.

“I consider the results that we are witnessing in terms of domestic violence and feminicides to be completely unacceptable,” he said. Obviously, there is not enough power and not enough attention in the government on this issue. Expert “Rebuilding trust” filed in December 2020 by the transpartisan committee on support for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.

“Some measures have been implemented, others have still not been,” explained Mr. Saint-Pierre Plamondon, adding that some have even been forgotten or have been implemented but only partially. 

“The accommodation support […] is not there, the resources are insufficient, there are waiting lists,” lamented the chief.

The party is committed to increasing the funding envelope for community organizations and help lines such as SOS violence conjugale by $400 million. He also wants to create an emergency fund to meet the essential needs of women themselves in emergency situations.

The law on labor standards would also be amended to grant 10 days leave to victims domestic violence, as is already done for those who work in companies under federal jurisdiction.

The party also wants more vigorous measures in terms of prevention, including mandatory assessments for offenders. An assessment program exists at the time of an individual's provisional release to determine if he is dangerous and if he is able to respect his conditions of release. 

As this assessment is only done if the offender gives his consent, the tool is ultimately very little used. 

About anti-relationship bracelets for offenders, which warn a victim that his violent ex-spouse is in the immediate vicinity, the party says it is open, but will wait for the results of the current pilot project to decide.

“We must be open and receptive to any measure that prevents murders that we have been witnessing for several years,” explained Mr. Saint-Pierre Plamondon.

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