Toronto council passes Chow motion to declare intimate partner violence an epidemic

Toronto city council has declared gender-based violence and intimate partner violence an epidemic in the city.

The declaration was part of a motion from newly-minted mayor Olivia Chow and calls on the provincial and federal governments to make the same move, which Ontario recently declined to do.

It also urges the other levels of government to enact recommendations from an inquest into the deaths of three women at the hands of their former partner.

The jury at a coroner’s inquest into the 2015 deaths of Nathalie Warmerdam, Carol Culleton and Anastasia Kuzyk in Renfrew County, Ont., made 86 recommendations more than one year ago aimed at preventing similar tragedies.

Chow has often spoken publicly about abuse suffered by her mother at the hands of her father, and how she was able to rebuild her life due to supports that aren’t offered to many victims, such as safe and affordable housing.

Toronto joins 30 other municipalities across Ontario that have made their own declarations of intimate partner violence as an epidemic, including Ottawa, Peel Region, Halton Region and Renfrew County.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 20, 2023.

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