HALIFAX – Students are delivering thousands of postcards to the Nova Scotia Legislature today that call on all political parties to support Bill 114, the Safer Universities and Colleges Act. This bill, drafted in close consultation with students, will require Nova Scotia’s post-secondary institutions to develop stand alone sexual assault policies – that must be renewed every 4 years – through a student driven process.

“Over the past two weeks thousands of students have signed postcards in support of Bill 114 because they know legislation is the most effective way to ensure universities and colleges combat sexualized and gender-based violence on campuses in Nova Scotia,” said Michaela Sam, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students – Nova Scotia. “This binding legislation will task our public institutions with prevention of sexual assault and hold them accountable to those that have experienced sexual assault.”

In a meeting on November 3 with Kelly Regan, the Minister for Labour and Advanced Education, students were told the government’s preference was to put the prevention measures listed in Bill 114 into the upcoming Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the universities, instead of passing the legislation. A report released yesterday from the Auditor General of Nova Scotia cited that sections of past MOUs have been routinely ignored and undermined by senior university administration, and there are no measures to hold universities accountable for this.

“Tacking sexualized violence requires legislation, not an unenforceable agreement,” said Sam. “Students, living and working on Nova Scotia campuses every day need to have confidence that our government will take this necessary step to end sexual assault at our colleges and universities.”

2000 postcards will be brought to the Legislative Assembly during question period today by Dave Wilson, MLA for Sackville.

 

The Canadian Federation of Students, Canada’s national student movement, is comprised of nearly one-half million students from over 80 college and university students’ unions. Students in Canada have been represented by the Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organisations since 1927.

 

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Contact: Michaela Sam, Chairperson – Nova Scotia

Tel: (902) 999-4318

Legislation needed to combat sexual and gender-based violence on university campuses