Today the Star's editorial pages published a letter from Helena Guergis, Minister of State for the Status of Women. Typically, it was edited for length.
As regular readers know, Guergis has figured heavily in my posts and columns about the anniversary of the Ecole Polytechnique Massacre, mostly because she voted to abolish the long-gun registry which law enforcement and medical groups supported.
I thought it only fair that I reprint her complete letter, unedited here.
In keeping with the Star's policy on allowing readers to have their say, I will post this without added commentary. I've said my piece on this subject. But you may feel free to weigh in.
Here's the letter:
As Canadians observe the 20th Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, I would like to believe that some things are above partisan politics. Not everyone shares my view. Antonia Zerbisias’ recent piece, “Tory ‘girlfriends’ hew to party line on femicide” was appalling.
We are not “girlfriends,” we are all strong members of Caucus who represent our constituents’ views on legislation, bring in new and effective programs and work alongside our colleagues in parliament.
We will not let our critics stop us from holding important ceremonies.
We will not allow their attacks to deter us from being strong members of Parliament and passing our tough-on-crime agenda.
Our Conservative Government has made many positive policy changes as well, like providing funding directly to grassroots programs that serve hundreds of thousands of women and girls in the communities in which they live. For more than 40 percent of these groups, this is the first time they have received funding and support from the federal government.
Just last week, I announced that our Government is contributing $1 million to support the establishment of Uniting to End Violence against Women, a project that will help to end violence against women and children by bringing together shelter organizations from across Canada.
In addition to the targeted action within my portfolio at the Status of Women, we are taking concrete steps to protect women across government. Our Government has passed The Tackling Violent Crimes Act that provides better protection for young girls against sexual predators. We are also working to end conditional sentencing for serious crimes such as rape, and recently released a new citizen’s guide which explicitly states Canada will not tolerate barbaric cultural practices that debase and demean women and their role in society. These are only a few of the measures we are taking to deliver safer streets for women and for all Canadians.
While there may be different ways to address an issue, a difference of opinion on policy neither changes our personal commitment to ending violence against women, nor our Government’s commitment to do the same.
The Honourable Helena Guergis, P.C., M.P.
Minister of State (Status of Women)
Note: I changed the photo to the haunting image captured by staffer Carlos yesterday.UPPITY WOMAN DATE: Pale gets in there.