Skip to main content

Domestic Violence issues need to be considered in Family Court Cases under the Divorce Act - Minister Stephanson's view

Yesterday at the Manitoba Legislature, I had the opportunity to ask the Minister of Justice whether domestic violence issues should be considered in family court cases under the Divorce Act.  My question and her response (from Hansard) are below.   This is an issue which was discussed in an article in the Winnipeg Free Press yesterday.  The article is available at  this link.

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): On the family court, the Free Press article today says that domestic violence allegations are often not being taken into account before family court orders are made under the federal Divorce Act, when legally and for the protection of children, they often should be considered.
      I'm presuming that the minister would agree that such domestic violence concerns should be taken into account and I'm asking, what will the minister do to make sure that such domestic violence allegations are taken into account under these circumstances?

Mrs. Stefanson: Well, I want to thank the member.
      And I think Manitoba is already kind of at the forefront there and has made some of those changes already to take into consideration some of the things that the member opposite is discussing with–and that are in this article that the member is referring to today.
      But I do want to say and commend our Minister responsible for the Status of Women (Ms. Squires) in what she has done, all the work that she's done in the area of domestic violence. And, you know, it's been extensive. She's worked with many stakeholders within the community. We work together as a team. And we will continue to work together and work with stakeholders and the community groups and organizations who help women primarily but all those of domestic violence as well who go through these tragic situations in their lives. It's very important to us as a government that they get the help that they need, and it's why we have put that kind of help at the forefront. And, again, I want to just commend the Minister responsible for the Status of Women for the work that she has done along with the stakeholders in the community who have really come forward and we have been working with and listening to on this very important file.
      So I thank the member for River Heights for his question.

Mr. Gerrard: I thank the minister for affirming clearly that when there are domestic violence allegations that they need to be taken into account before family court orders are made under the federal Divorce Act, as the article suggests.


Popular posts from this blog

Comparison between Manitoba and South Dakota shows dramatic impact of Physical Distancing

Manitoba implemented physical distancing measures in mid-March.  South Dakota has still not made physical distancing mandatory.   The result is a dramatic difference in the incidence of covid-19 viral infections between the two jurisdictions.   This graph shows the number of people with Covid-19 infections from March 27 to April 14.  Manitoba ( red line )  started leveling off about April 4 and has seen only a small increase in Covid-19 infections since then.   South Dakota ( blue line )   has seen a dramatic increase in Covid-19 infections since April 4.  Those who are skeptical of the impact of physical distancing in Manitoba should look at this graph! Data are from the Johns Hopkins daily tabulations

Standing up for Seniors

Yesterday in the Legislature I  asked the Minister of Health questions about the care of seniors in personal care homes in Manitoba.   I specfically called for the Minister to increase the training and staffing requirements for personal care homes in Manitoba to bring them up to date.   My questions, the Minister's comments and the Speaker's interjection are below:  Personal-Care-Home  Improvements - Need for Upgrades to Standards and Training Hon. Jon  Gerrard   (River Heights): Madam Speaker, we're very concerned this government is not adapting to the reality of caring for seniors who are living longer. Seniors living in our personal-care homes today have much more challenging health-care conditions than those who were in similar homes even five years ago, and yet the staffing formula, or minimal personnel requirement, is over 20 years old. Too few care aides and nurses are adequately trained to look after residents with dementia and multiple chronic health conditi

I cried today when I heard the report on the Maples Care Home disaster

Today the Pallister  government released the report on the tragedy which occurred at the Maples personal care home in October  to December 2020.   There were far too many people infected with COVID-19 (73 staff and 157 residents) and far too many deaths (56).  It did not have to be this way.  The central finding of the report was: "The review found that while pandemic plans had  been prepared and were in place, the site was not prepared for the significant reduction in available staff once they had been  exposed to COVID-19  and were required to self-isolate.  In addition, the urgency of requests for additional on-site staffing supports were not  fully understood until the situation became critical.   While additional staff were brought in, many were not skilled in providing long-term care services and  lacked training in infection prevention and control and specialized housekeeping skills."    Five  months before, Manitoba Liberals had warned the Premier three times that pre