I am pleased to announce that the proposed Motion to Declare Gender-Based Violence & Intimate Partner Violence an Epidemic in the City of Mississauga was passed today unanimously in Council.
The City of Mississauga will request that the Region of Peel’s upcoming awareness campaign regarding gender based and intimate partner violence include this declaration and take a stand and advocate with 41 other municipalities to push the Province of Ontario to officially recognize it as such.
We will also send a communication to the Minister of Justice, the Attorney General Canada, the Prime Minister of Canada signed by Mayor Crombie and members of Council to advocate that Femicide be added as a term to the Criminal Code of Canada and ask that the provincial and federal governments provide appropriate supports necessary to address the epidemic.
adopted by the Council of
The Corporation of the City of Mississauga
at its meeting on September 13, 2023
0193-2023 Moved by: S. Dasko Seconded by: B. Butt
WHEREAS gender-based violence is defined as violence or abuse perpetrated against a woman, girl or gender-diverse individual because of their gender, gender expression, gender identity or perceived gender; and
WHEREAS according to the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability, in the last 5 years at least one woman or girl was killed every 48 hours in Canada
WHEREAS Renfrew County delivered 86 recommendations in a unanimous verdict on the deaths of three local women, who were killed by their former partner on a single morning in 2015; and
WHEREAS these 86 recommendations speak to oversight and accountability, system approaches, collaboration and communication, funding, education and training, measures addressing perpetrators of intimate partner violence (IPV), intervention, and safety; and
WHEREAS the number one recommendation put forward is to have the provincial government formally declare intimate partner violence as an epidemic; and
WHEREAS femicide continues to take place in Peel Region, with the most recent one taking place on July 31st when Argentina Fuentes was killed in Mississauga; and
WHEREAS a femicide took place between July 17 and 18 in Mississauga, when Pitch “Polly” Phunpa was killed in her Port Credit apartment; and
WHEREAS Peel Region has already had 6 femicides connected to the Region in 2023, with 4 of those femicides taking place in July alone; and
WHEREAS there have been 38 femicides in Ontario in the last 36 weeks; and
WHEREAS Canada does not currently include the term femicide in their criminal legislation; and
WHEREAS 75% of women reported abuse and conflict with a partner, spouse or parent as their top reason for their housing loss in Peel Region in 2021; and
WHEREAS Canada continues to experience a crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls; and
WHEREAS Indigenous women are killed at seven times the rate of Non-Indigenous women; and
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WHEREAS technology-facilitated gender-based violence is a growing problem, with 33% of young women between 15 and 24 experiencing unwanted behaviour online; and
WHEREAS all statistics are only scratching the surface and do not include unreported cases; and
WHEREAS the demand for support services increases as awareness increases; and
WHEREAS according to the Peel Regional 2021-2022 Snapshot published by the Peel Committee Against Women Abuse, Embrave: Agency to End Violence have seen a 27 percent increase in survivors accessing shelter programs between 2021 to 2022 in Peel Region; and
WHEREAS many of the inquiry’s recommendations are either applicable to or could be adapted to the municipal or regional level of government; and
WHEREAS The Region of Peel has formally acknowledged family violence and intimate-partner violence a key area of focus in the Peel Community Safety and Well-Being Plan; and
WHEREAS on Feb 13, 2020, the Region of Peel Council unanimously supported a motion to work with the City of Brampton, City of Mississauga, Town of Caledon, Peel Regional Police and community organizations to develop and strategize a public education and awareness campaign to tackle the issue of domestic violence across the Region; and
WHEREAS the “It’s Not Ok” and “Break the Silence” public awareness campaigns launched as of November 2020, annually for the past 3 years during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence; and
WHEREAS 41 municipalities across Ontario, including the City of Brampton and the Region of Peel have declared intimate partner violence and gender-based violence an epidemic; and
WHEREAS the Government of Canada and Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada have recognized gender-based violence as an epidemic.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE CITY OF MISSISSAUGA:
1. Declare gender-based violence and intimate-partner violence an epidemic in Mississauga; and
2. Request that the Region of Peel’s upcoming awareness campaign regarding gender-based and intimate partner violence include this declaration; and
3. Take a stand and advocate with the 41 municipalities and regions that have declared gender-based violence and/or intimate partner violence an epidemic to push the Province of Ontario to officially recognize it as such; and
4. Send a communication to Mississauga MPs and MPPs, signed by Mayor Bonnie Crombie on behalf of Council, requesting that they join their municipal counterparts in solidarity, asking for an epidemic of gender-based violence and intimate-partner violence to be declared at the Provincial and Federal levels; and
5. Send a communication to the Honourable Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General Canada, and the Prime Minister of Canada, signed by Mayor Bonnie Crombie on behalf of Council, advocating that Femicide be added as a term to the Criminal Code of Canada; and
6. Send a communication to Premier Ford and Prime Minister Trudeau, signed by Mayor Bonnie Crombie on behalf of Council, advocating to the provincial and federal governments to provide the appropriate supports necessary to address the epidemic; and
7. Send a copy of this Resolution to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO).