The Hon. Chris Alexander and the Hon. Kellie Leitch Announce Measures to Stop Barbaric Cultural Practices Against Women and Girls

October 2, 2015

for immediate release

The Hon. Chris Alexander and the Hon. Kellie Leitch Announce Measures to Stop Barbaric Cultural Practices Against Women and Girls

Today, Conservative Party candidates Chris Alexander (Ajax) and Dr. Kellie Leitch (Simcoe-Grey) announced new measures that a re-elected Conservative Government would take to stop child and forced marriage, and other barbaric cultural practices against girls and women.

“Every year, millions of girls and young women are forced into marriage, and victimized by heinous practices including so-called ‘honour’ killings and other forms of violent abuse,” said Chris Alexander. “We will continue to speak out against these barbaric practices that have no place in Canadian society and we will protect the victims.”

Chris Alexander and Kellie Leitch outlined a multifaceted commitment to combat these practices at home and abroad. He outlined $12 million in funding to prevent child and forced marriage in war zones, including Syria and Iraq; the establishment of an RCMP tip line for callers with information about these crimes in Canada; the creation of RCMP integrated units in Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Vancouver; as well as new funding for anti-human trafficking.

This announcement builds on the Conservative Government’s record of success on combatting these issues overseas and in Canada:

  • The Conservative Government has been a leader in bringing international attention to the issue of child and forced marriage that affects 15 million girls per year.
  • Since 2013, we have committed more than $60 million in support to prevent child and forced marriage in Africa, the Middle East and South-east Asia.
  • We have been a global leader in preventing and combating human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation, particularly in Central and South America.
  • We passed the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act which makes it illegal for anyone under 16 to get married, blocks anyone in a polygamist relationship from immigrating to Canada, limits the use of provocation as a criminal defence for so-called ‘honour’ killings, and prevents the removal of children from Canada to marry.
  • We redesigned Canada’s citizenship guide to include information regarding the equality of women and men in Canada, and our intolerance for barbaric cultural practices and other forms of violence against women.
  • New measures were introduced to stop the trafficking of vulnerable foreign nationals to Canada for sexual exploitation, including enhanced border services to recognize and assist victims at ports of entry, and barring use of Canada’s temporary foreign worker program for the sex trade.

“While these may be uncomfortable topics for Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair,” said Dr. Kellie Leitch, “Conservatives believe that we should be clear about our fundamental Canadian values. Canadians overwhelmingly agree with our position – and that includes immigrants – who find these practices despicable and want the Canadian government to protect women who are victims of such violence.”

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