Feds provide $50M for survivors of violence
Money to help support those who have experienced genderbased violence, reduce risk
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HALIFAX — Forty days ago, a woman returned to her home on Nova Scotia’s We’koqma’q First Nation to find her 22year-old daughter, Cassidy Bernard — a new mother of infant twins — dead.
“Her daughter was murdered,” said Paula Marshall, executive director of the Mi’kmaq Legal Support Network. “Her five-and-a-half month old identical twin girls lay dehydrated in a crib beside her, very seriously ill.”
Marshall described the horrific scene at a funding announcement in Halifax Monday, where federal Status of Women Minister Maryam Monsef announced $50 million for programs aimed at gender-based violence.
Monsef said 60 projects across the country will receive up to $1 million each over five years to address gaps in support for underserved groups, including Indigenous women, LGBTQ communities, gender non-binary people and women in rural and remote areas.
Marshall pointed out that Indigenous women and girls are three times more likely to experience violence, a statistic illustrated by Bernard’s death.
She said African-Nova Scotian women share many of the same struggles, and are overrepresented in the country’s jails. A simple Google search would have revealed that a man who was convicted of attempted murder had been invited to hobnob with Justin Trudeau during the prime minister’s ill-fated trip to India, according to a new report.
But there was no security vetting of the guest list, according to a review released Monday by the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP).
Furthermore, the RCMP did not tell Trudeau’s protective detail that it had received a tip days earlier that Jaspal Atwal would attend the event.
The report says the RCMP now “recognizes that it erred” by not passing along the information about Atwal’s repeated brushes with the law.
That string of errors led to Atwal attending the event, even though one officer concluded that his presence “significantly increased the risks” to the prime minister and other attendees.
The committee’s findings, while heavily censored, paint the most detailed account yet of how Atwal — who was convicted of attempting to assassinate an Indian politician in the 1980s — found himself posing for pictures with Sophie Gregoire Trudeau at the Mumbai event on Feb. 20.
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