How to end violence against women and girls? New committee aims to find solutions
Linda Ross to co-chair committee alongside justice minister
As 117 names of murdered or missing women and girls in Newfoundland and Labrador were read aloud in a sobering vigil this month, the province's justice minister was in the crowd.
"There's no doubt that's had an impact on me," Andrew Parsons told reporters at Confederation Building Wednesday.
"You can't sit there and hear those names and not feel empty, like there's more that can be done."
The In Her Name vigil, coupled with discussion within the justice department on violence against women and girls, has culminated in a new government committee which aims to find solutions to gender-based violence.
Advocates called on government during the vigil to create a provincial task force on the topic.
'Everybody wants to see action'
Parsons will co-chair the committee with Linda Ross, president of the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women. Invitations are being mailed out to other prospective committee members this week.
"It never hurts to discuss this issue, to bring it out, we need a bigger community discussion," Parsons said.
"I'm not into this to put together a committee where we end up getting nothing done. Everybody wants to see action. And I know the people who will be a part of this will be of the same mindset."
Asked if it will result in legislative change, Parsons said anything is possible.
"There's absolutely no reason that we shouldn't consider anything — whether it's policy change, legislative change — are there things we can do differently?"
Parsons wouldn't pre-determine a timeline for when the work would be completed before the committee is in place.