The Liberal Opposition is joining the New Brunswick South Central Transition House & Second Stage Coalition and le Réseau des services pour victimes de violence du Nouveau-Brunswick in their call for additional funding to support organizations working with victims of intimate partner violence.
“These past two years have been difficult for everyone, but for some people the consequences of isolation were more severe than loneliness and anxiety. The pandemic created a spike in intimate partner violence as the victims were confined with their abuser for weeks or months” says Isabelle Thériault, Official Opposition critic for Women’s equality. “Unfortunately, there is a growing number of people looking for support in order to escape an abusive situation, but the organizations in the province have not seen an increase in funding for years and are struggling to keep up with demand.”
While the Higgs Government has recognized the impact of the pandemic on people’s mental health yet has done little to address it. Often when urged to act on social issues, the Premier uses the province’s ability to pay as an excuse not to invest.
“With consecutive surpluses totaling close a billion dollars, don’t tell me you do not have enough money to make sure women and children fleeing from abuse have a safe place to stay and receive the support they need” says the MLA for Caraquet and deputy Liberal Leader. “I don’t understand the Higgs Government’s priorities. There are so many people suffering while the Premier adds on to his surplus.”
Isabelle Thériault says the Higgs Government has often turned a blind eye to important issues that predominately affect women.
“We have repeatedly called on the Higgs Government to make changes or investments that would further women’s equality, yet nothing has been done. A portion of the Federal Health Transfer funds are still being withheld because the Premier’s refusal to repeal Regulation 84-20, New Brunswick is going against the Canada Health Act” says Thériault. “As the Official Opposition Critic for Women’s Equality, I will make sure these important issues are raised on the floor of the Legislative Assembly during the upcoming session.”