REGINA – Justice Minister Gord Wyant says Saskatchewan will develop a process to review domestic violence deaths. Wyant says they are a significant problem in Saskatchewan that must be addressed, noting the province has the highest domestic violence rate in the country.
“It’s a record we’re certainly not very proud of and that’s one of the reasons for moving forward with this committee,” Wyant said Monday.
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According to Statistics Canada, police-reported family violence rates among the provinces were highest in Saskatchewan with 489 incidents per 100,000 people.
Wyant said part of addressing the problem is understanding why domestic violence happens, as well as creating a review process that will protect families from these tragic and largely preventable deaths.
“We know a lot of the issues that surround domestic violence,” he said. “We need to look to see what the programs we have in Saskatchewan, within our various ministries, to see how effective they are and to see whether we can reallocate resources to better deal with some of the issues when they give rise to domestic violence.”
The Ministry of Justice has looked at the review processes in other provinces.
The structure and scope of the Saskatchewan review will be decided after talks with the chief coroner’s office, community-based organizations, police, other government ministries and First Nations groups.
Opposition NDP Leader Cam Broten, who called for a review last week, called it a good step forward.
“I want to see women safe. I want to see lives saved and that’s the potential that this has,” said Broten.