fitzpatrick_thumb-1.png
fitzpatrick_thumb-1.png This article is more than 5 years old

VIDEO: This Alberta MLA gave a powerful and personal speech on violence against women

"My support for this bill comes from the middle of this experience and this trap, a trap that was intentionally or unintentionally supported by society."

NDP MLA Maria Fitzpatrick rose in the Alberta legislature Monday and gave a powerful explanation for why she’s supporting a bill that would make it easier for women to escape abusive homes: her own experience.

“I prayed,” Fitzpatrick remembered. “I asked God why was this happening to me. I’m a good person. I’ve never intentionally hurt anybody or anything in my life.

“My support for this bill comes from the middle of this experience and this trap, a trap that was intentionally or unintentionally supported by society.”

Fitzpatrick was speaking in support of Bill 204, a private members bill that would amend Alberta’s Residential Tenancies Act and allow women in abusive households to break a lease early without financial penalties, needing only a certificate from a list of professionals, including a judge, nurse, police officer or social worker.

Alberta has one of the highest rates of intimate partner violence in Canada, though those numbers don’t capture the full extent of the problem given as many as 35-40% of domestic violence incidents are never disclosed.

A 2013 Statistics Canada report on violence against women listed 78,000 incidents across Canada of women reporting intimate partner violence to police.

The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters recently reported 10,000 women and children stayed at Alberta shelters last year, while an additional 19,000 were turned away due to lack of space.

The ACWS underlines that “women escaping violence face numerous barriers.”

Fitzpatrick closed her speech saying she would “be horrified if anybody in this chamber votes against this bill.”

Second reading of the bill passed unanimously Monday night.

Photo: Legislative Assembly of Alberta.

Help us protect Canadians by holding the powerful accountable.

Journalism is an important public service. That’s why PressProgress is prioritizing stories aimed at keeping Canadians safe and holding the powerful accountable during the coronavirus pandemic.

Please consider supporting our award-winning non-profit news organization so we can keep making a positive impact for Canadians.

 

Support Our Journalism
PressProgress
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2021-06-027 New

Doug Ford’s Government Cut Education By More Than Half a Billion Dollars, New Report Finds

Related Stories

New

Conservative MP Who Opposed Conversion Therapy Bill Spoke at Conference Organized By European Far-Right, Anti-LGBTQ Groups

View the post
Fact-Check

Celebrity Millionaire W. Brett Wilson Boosted a Misleading Tweet About Electric Cars. Right-Wing Facebook Pages Made It Go Viral.

View the post
News

Lost Wages, Security and Voice: New Report Documents Workers’ Experiences of Subcontracting in BC’s Long-Term Care Sector

View the post

Explainers

Power and democracy

Andrea Reimer

Why Canadian Politics Does Such a Bad Job at Reflecting Working Class Values

View the post
Politics & strategy

Tom Parkin

Why Jason Kenney is Playing Politics with the Horrific Legacy of Canada’s Residential Schools

View the post
Work & rights

Liz Walker and Shanice Regis-Wilkins

Here is What Everyone in Canada Needs To Know About How Collective Bargaining Really Works

View the post