Union, political and community stakeholders gathered outside the National Assembly at noon to demand 10 paid days off for victims of domestic violence.
Line Lamarre, president of the Syndicat de professionnelles et professionnels du gouvernement du Québec (SPGQ), Manon Massée, MNA, Québec solidaire, Isabelle Melançon, MNA, Québec Liberal Party, Méganne Perry-Mélançon, MNA, Parti Québécois, Julie Bouchard, president of the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ) and spokesperson for the Intersyndicale des femmes*, Chantal Arseneault, president of the Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale, Maud Pontel, coordinator of the Alliance des maisons d’hébergement de 2e étape and Évelyne Couture with the Fédération des maisons d’hébergement pour femmes have each spoken out to denounce domestic violence and demand a way out for victims.
“We are demanding ten paid days off for victims of domestic violence to help them leave their situations,” they all said together. “It is a deeply human and compassionate way of helping. And above all, it will help to save lives. Remember that since January 2020, more than 30 women were killed in a situation of domestic violence in Quebec. The federal government and some private businesses already offer their staff these paid days off. Quebec needs to step up. It is up to everyone to protect and help victims, including employers. This measure could be integrated into the Act respecting occupational health and safety or the Act respecting labour standards.” A petition with over 3,200 signatures was just submitted to the National Assembly for this cause.
“We agree that some measures are already in place, such as the legal obligation for employers to take the necessary measures to protect workers’ health and ensure their safety and physical and mental integrity,” they added. “The ten paid days off for all victims of domestic violence that we are demanding is a complementary measure to help them. It would give them some income so that it would not be as much of an obstacle upon leaving a violent home.”
Unfortunately, Quebec is behind the times when it comes to protecting victims of domestic violence. “An analysis showed that Quebec fared poorly and does very little to protect victims of domestic and family violence in terms of their right to work compared to the federal, provincial and territory governments,” they said. “In fact, only Alberta is less generous than Quebec. It is high time that the Quebec government fixed this. We will make strong, loud demands until concrete steps are taken to make it happen.”
The organizations and people gathered at the demonstration are determined to change things and to offer a way out for victims of domestic violence. They believe that 10 paid days off for victims to seek out help is the bare minimum!