Whereas 42 municipalities and regions including OBCM and MARCO members Ajax, Brampton, Burlington, Clarington, Hamilton, London, Oakville, Ottawa, Pickering, Whitby, Toronto and Windsor, along with Peel, Durham and Halton Regions as well as Lanark County, Essex County and Renfrew County across Ontario have declared a gender-based violence and/or intimate partner violence epidemic (as of August 18, 2023) and;
Whereas on August 16, 2023 Justice Minister Arif Virani described gender-based violence as “an epidemic” in the federal government’s formal response to a coroner’s inquest, also stating that his government is committed to ending the gender-based violence epidemic “in all its forms, and is working to address any gaps in the Criminal Code to ensure a robust justice system response,” and;
Whereas on August 20, 2023 at the Association of Municipalities (AMO) conference, OBCM and MARCO declared gender-based violence and intimate partner violence an epidemic, and joined the growing number of municipalities and regions in demanding action from all levels of government to address this growing epidemic and;
Whereas the incidences of gender-based violence and intimate partner violence increased exponentially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and has not decreased, while funding to provide the growing demand of services and support for victims and survivors of intimate partner and gender based violence has not kept pace
Now Therefore Be It Resolved That:
1. The City of Richmond Hill also declare gender-based violence and intimate partner violence an epidemic, and;
2. The City of Richmond Hill recommends that the Province also declare gender-based violence and intimate partner violence an epidemic;
3. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and all municipalities and regions in Ontario declare a gender-based and intimate partner violence epidemic across the country and;
4. The provincial and federal governments enact the additional 85 recommendations from the inquest into the 2015 murders of Carol Culleton, Anastasia Kuzyk and Nathalie Warmerdam in Renfrew County, Ontario, which provide a roadmap to preventing intimate partner violence from escalating to femicide and;
5. That the Federal government starts this enactment by adding the word Femicide as a term to the Criminal Code of Canada, and;
6. That the provincial and federal governments provide the necessary resources to municipalities, regions and their emergency and social services to meaningfully address the gender-based violence and intimate-partner violence epidemic.
7. The City Clerk send this motion to Premier of Ontario; the Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; the Ontario Leader of Opposition, and Leaders of other Parties, the Local Members of Parliament (MPs); the Local Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs); the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM); the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO); Ontario Big Cities Mayors Caucus (OBCM); Mayors and Regional Chairs of Ontario (MARCO); the Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario; the Small Urban GTHA Mayors as well as York Region and its member municipalities.