A roundup of some of the latest news in women, Toronto, and/or politics this week. What stories did you read this week? Tell us in the comments.
- The Toronto Star has published the findings of a three-month investigation into the sexual assault policies – or lack thereof – in universities across Canada. Out of 78 universities across the country, only nine have policies specifically directed at sexual assault, and not one of Ontario’s 24 colleges has any sort of sexual assault policy. The University of Toronto and McGill claim to be “looking into the issue”, while York University has promised a draft policy in 2015.
- Aboriginal groups have been calling for a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada, but have been ignored and outright rejected by the Conservative government. This week, a group of senators unveiled their legal strategy and plans to take the government to Federal Court. The senators say they hope that publicly shaming the government for its inaction will pressure the Tories into protecting the country’s Aboriginal women. Statistics Canada data and police data have found disturbing facts regarding the status of aboriginal women in Canada: aboriginal women are twice as likely to suffer domestic violence than other Canadian women, much more likely than other women to be attacked by strangers, and are three times more likely to become the target of violence than non-aboriginal women.
- Ontario NDP voted on its leadership during a convention last weekend. Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath received the support of 77% of the NDP delegates, one percentage point higher than she got at the party’s 2012 leadership review. The NDP Socialist Caucus had called for her resignation for running what they deemed a “right-wing” campaign despite no challengers to her leadership.
- Green Party leader Elizabeth May was named Best Orator at the 2014 Parliamentarian of the Year Awards. In 2012 Ms. May won the prestigious Parliamentarian of the Year, and in 2013 she was awarded Hardest Working MP.
- The late Jim Flaherty has a new successor in his old riding of Whitby-Oshawa. On November 17, voters chose Conservative Pat Perkins to represent the riding in the House of Commons. Perkins thanked the Flaherty family for their support and acknowledged his legacy: Flaherty held the riding in provincial and federal capacities from 1995 until his untimely death earlier this year.
- The Toronto Ward Boundary Review is currently reconsidering the size and shape of Toronto’s wards in an attempt to redistribute the populations within wards. Ultimately, the review’s aim is for all councillors to have approximately the same number of constituents. The ward has expressed an interest in ensuring the fair representation of every Torontonian at City Council, and will review factors such as geographic communities of interest, major physical and natural boundaries, and population trends. The city has hired consultants to do the $800,000 review of ward boundaries, and the result could be more city councillors in Toronto, thanks to the city’s population growth since the last review in 2000.