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Sex assault survivors livid with Ontario over intimate partner violence bill

Written by on May 15, 2024

TORONTO — Sex assault survivors and the opposition are livid with the Ontario government for what they call procedural games over an intimate partner violence bill. 

Government House Leader Paul Calandra sent a proposed NDP bill on intimate partner violence to committee on Tuesday, thereby cancelling a debate on it today.

Catherine Fife’s private member’s bill, called Lydia’s Law, would compel the province to provide statistics on how sexual assault cases are doing in court and mandate progress reports on implementing recommendations from the auditor general.

Fife says the Progressive Conservative government is effectively killing the bill by sending it to committee to languish and never become law.

Calandra says the government is not killing the bill, but that it will be examined by a justice committee that is already looking at intimate partner violence with a plan to return with recommendations. 

Cait Alexander, a sexual assault survivor who used to live in Toronto, had flown in from Los Angeles to watch the debate that has now been cancelled and says she feels the government is silencing discussion on the issue.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 15, 2024. 

The Canadian Press