Government of Canada funds Nunavut initiatives to increase access to justice and improve the well-being of women and children

News release

July 29, 2019 - Iqaluit, Nunavut - Department of Justice Canada

Canadians expect that their justice system serves all, provides equal access to justice, and supports and protects the most vulnerable, including women and children. 

Today, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced a total of $1.8 million in new funding for three Nunavut inititatives to increase access to justice and support the well-being of women and children.

To better understand the legal needs of women in Nunavut with respect to family violence and to improve their access to legal information and resources, the Law Society of Nunavut launched their Access to Justice for Family Violence in Nunavut project. The project will also develop a family violence awareness campaign to improve the public’s ability to recognize abusive situations and break the silence around family violence. The Department of Justice Canada is providing $111,000 over  two years in funding to support this project. 

The Law Society of Nunavut will also launch an initiative to help confront sexual harassment in the workplace and gender-based violence. This project called Sexual harassment in the workplace and other harassment related issues in Nunavut will increase public awareness of these issues through workshops in communities throughout the territory. In addition, it will deliver public legal information and education, and provide free legal advice and information for individuals who experience harassement or gender-based violence. Creating and maintaining safe workplaces where everyone – no matter their gender or gender identity – can be safe, respected and able to focus on their work and career is a priority for the Government of Canada. The Department of Justice Canada is providing $843,000 in funding over five years for this project.

Child victims need safe, comfortable spaces where they can obtain services that are adapted and customized to their needs in order to lessen the consequences of the violence they have experienced. To support children and their families, the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation is working to open a new Child Advocacy Centre in Iqaluit. This centre will provide a safe, culturally informed, child-friendly environment in which various agencies will deliver their services in a collaborative and coordinated response. The Department of Justice Canada will provide $875,526 over five years to support the creation of this Child Advocacy Centre.

Quotes

“I am proud the Government Canada is supporting Nunavut-made initiatives that will improve the lives of all Nunavummiut, especially women and children who too frequently face situations of violence. Public legal information and education, knowledge and safe spaces for young victims of crime are important pieces that support a just and thriving society. Thanks to partners such as the Law Society of Nunavut and the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation, we are creating a brighter future for all Nunavummiut.”

The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

“The Law Society of Nunavut is committed to public protection which includes providing support and guidance to all Nunavummiut across the territory through its Access to Knowledge Initiative. The Initiative, launched in 2015, facilitates through invaluable collaborations and partnerships access to information with support and increased understanding of their rights and available resources.”

Nalini Vaddapalli, Chief Executive Officer
Law Society of Nunavut

“Arctic Children and Youth Foundation (ACYF) Staff and Board of Directors are grateful for long term commitments such as this 5 year commitment from the Department of Justice Canada, to ensure there is focus on the success of the Umingmak Child and Youth Support Center (UCYSC). From a dream 5yrs ago when I started working on a CAC for Nunavut (former Executive Director), I congratulate Executive Director Sarah Clark and staff of ACYF along with the partners of the UCYSC that have successfully made this essential space a reality for Nunavut with the opening of the UCYSC this September.”

Kylie Aglukark,
Executive Board Member for the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation

Quick facts

  • Today’s announcement is part of the Budget 2018’s $50 million over five years of funding to address sexual harassment. Of this amount, $25 million is dedicated to organizations so that they can increase their ability to provide legal advice and information to support complainants of sexual harassment in the workplace. Another $25 million is dedicated to organizations to enable them to provide public legal education and information to workers. Through both inititatives, the Government of Canada is helping organizations assist victims and take a stand against sexual harassment in the workplace.

  • The Canada Labour Code defines sexual harassment as any conduct, comment, gesture or contact of a sexual nature that is likely to cause offence or humiliation to any employee or that might, on reasonable grounds, be perceived by that employee as placing a condition of a sexual nature on employment or on any opportunity for training or promotion. This federal definition applies to federally regulated workplaces.

  • The CAC Initiative provides funding to a number of victim-serving, non-governmental organizations whose programs and activities are aligned with the priorities of the Victims Fund and the Government of Canada.

  • The Family Violence - Justice Partnership and Innovation Program has two main objectives. First, to strengthen the justice system’s response to family violence. Second, to promote continued public awareness of family violence and public involvement in the response to family violence.

  • According to this 2019  Study on Gender-based Violence and Shelter Services needs across Inuit Nunangat: More than 70% of the 53 Inuit communities spread across four geographic regions of the Canadian Arctic do not have a safe shelter for women and children experiencing family violence.

  • Young women and girls in northern Canada–comprising the territories and the northern parts of most provinces–were disproportionately victims of violent crimes in 2017.
    Source: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/85-002-x/2019001/article/00012-eng.htm

  • Violent victimization of young women and girls in the North first peaked around age 15 and continued at consistently high rates until declining after age 30. This age victimization profile was unlike that for females in the South, whose rates peaked at age 15 but declined well before entering adulthood.
    Source: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/85-002-x/2019001/article/00012-eng.htm

Associated links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice
613-992-6568
Rachel.rappaport@justice.gc.ca

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada
613-957-4207
media@justice.gc.ca


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