Feds pro­vide $50M for sur­vivors of vi­o­lence

Money to help sup­port those who have ex­pe­ri­enced gen­der­based vi­o­lence, re­duce risk

StarMetro Edmonton - - CANADA & WORLD - MIN­ISTRY OF EN­VI­RON­MENT AND CLI­MATE CHANGE Brett Bundale

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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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