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District of Muskoka endorses gender-based and intimate-based violence as an epidemic
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District of Muskoka endorses gender-based and intimate-based violence as an epidemic

Posted: 2024-04-16 14:27:06 By: thebay

The District of Muskoka endorsed a resolution declaring gender-based and intimate-based violence an epidemic, in the April 15, 2024, Council meeting.

According to the District’s agenda, the resolution was in support of Ontario municipalities demanding action from all levels of government to address the ongoing “epidemic.”

In June 2022, the Culleton, Kuzyk and Warmerdam inquest investigated the deaths of Carol Culleton, Anastasia Kuzyk, and Nathalie Warmerdam, who were all murdered by the same intimate partner on September 22, 2015, and one of the 86 jury recommendations was that the provincial government declare this type of violence as an epidemic.

In August 2023 the Canadian Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Arif Virani, confirmed Gender-Based Violence as “an epidemic” in his response to the coroner’s inquest.

The agenda continues that Virani also stated that he “is committed to ending the Gender-Based Violence ‘in all its forms’ and working to address any gaps in the Criminal Code to ensure a robust justice system response.”

This type of violence increased with Covid and has continued at a high level. However, funding isn’t matching the need for victim services.

The agenda adds, “It is the District of Muskoka Council’s priority to make sure our communities remain prosperous, safe, connected and healthy.” This includes supporting other municipalities and the demand for action by all levels of government to address the problem.

Councillor, Rick Maloney, advised that last week there was a declaration by the provincial government confirming this issue as an epidemic and included commitments for a review on justice.

He added, “I think it’s absolutely necessary for us as the District to align with other municipalities.”

He continued that recent conversations with victim service organizations confirmed that the resolution will help to align the District with organizations for greater support to better meet the needs and demands they are dealing with.

Councillor, Ruth Nishikawa, expressed appreciation for the resolution, however, advised that efforts in that past haven’t resulted in “getting ahead.” She added, “Things just aren’t getting any better by the choices of the Ministry. I hope this will help on changing that.”

The resolution will be sent to the Premier of Ontario, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, Associate Minister of Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity, Attorney General, Solicitor General, Minister of Health, Member of Provincial Parliament for Parry Sound-Muskoka, Member of Federal Parliament for Parry Sound-Muskoka, Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks, and Treasurers of Ontario, and the Muskoka Area Indigenous Leadership Table.