Ontario's plan to stop sexual violence includes guidelines for PSE institutions

March 9, 2015

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has announced a 3-year, $41 M initiative to curb sexual violence and harassment. The initiative includes a multimedia public education campaign, stronger workplace safety legislation, and an enhanced prosecution model. It also includes increased, stabilized funding for survivor support and proposes legislation to eliminate the 2-year limitation period for civil sexual assault claims. Under the heading "Safer Campuses," the province says it will introduce legislation that will require PSE institutions to adopt a sexual assault policy, developed with input from students; to have clearly stated complaint procedures and response protocols; and to report publicly on incidence of sexual assault as well as on the effectiveness of campus initiatives against sexual violence. The Council of Ontario Universities said that they "are encouraged by Premier Wynne's actions," and that "universities will continue to do our part, and step up our efforts where we could do more." Colleges Ontario CEO Linda Franklin applauded the announcement, stating that "this is a priority for every college in the province." Researcher Meranda McLaughlin recently commented on Rethinking Higher Ed on the need for collaborative efforts among colleges and universities to stop sexual violence on campus. Ontario News Release | Full Plan | COU Statement | Colleges Ontario News Release | Toronto Star