Spring Session Concludes

Calgary Buffalo

As the spring session concludes, I would like to let you know about recent legislation and actions by our government to make life better for Albertans, and for women in particular.

We know that sexual violence is one of the most under-reported crimes in Canada, and that women are victims in the vast majority of cases. The #MeToo and #IBelieveYou campaigns have highlighted how many women endure misconduct, harassment and violence, and how daunting and difficult it can be to report and prosecute a sexual offence. Our government invested $8.1 million in the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services to expand front-line services for survivors. Increased counselling, and specialized police and court support workers are now available. In many rural areas, specialized services are available for the first time.

Taking the first step away from abuse is much easier when there is somewhere safe and welcoming to go. This spring our government provided $8.6 million in funding to the YWCA of Calgary for construction of 100 transitional shelter homes in their new Hub facility in Inglewood. This facility is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2019. It will provide safe and supportive housing to women and children as they make the transition from crisis to stability.

Finally, I am pleased to announce that our government presented another bill that will protect women and health providers. While a woman’s right to choose is enshrined in the Canada Health Act, for years many women who have chosen to have an abortion in Alberta, and the professionals who assist them, have been subject to harassment, aggression and bullying from protesters. In order to protect legal rights and ensure safety for all, a 50-metre clear access zone to clinics is now mandated, and violations may result in fines of up to $100,000.

I am always happy to hear from constituents. If you have feedback to offer, please contact my constituency office: [email protected].