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February 4th, 2020

Action Needed to Address Violence Against Women

OTTAWA – Today, New Democrats are joining other opposition parties in the House calling for hearings into a Parole Board decision that resulted in the murder of 22-year-old Marylène Lévesque.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the woman who fell victim to this terrible tragedy. This horrific case raises serious questions that Canadians need answered – How could this have happened? ” said NDP Justice Critic Randall Garrison. “We all need to do more to address violence against all women, including sex workers and other marginalized and vulnerable women, and we are ready to work with other parties to make sure this kind of tragedy never happens again.”

The Quebec City man who murdered Ms. Lévesque had been granted full parole by the Parole Board of Canada on the condition that he only meet women to meet his “sexual needs.” New Democrats want a review of the changes the Liberal government made to the board’s nomination process which can lead to less experienced members making important decisions that affect public safety.

“The appalling attitude towards women and disregard for women’s safety shown in this case is deeply troubling. The Parole Board’s consideration in allowing a parolee to use women for sex as part of a ‘risk management strategy’ is horrifying and led to a woman’s death,” said NDP Critic for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Jack Harris. “We owe it to Ms. Lévesque and her family to ensure that this matter is fully examined by a Parliamentary Committee and whatever measures necessary are taken to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.”