QUEEN’S PARK – During Question Period today, Ontario PC Critic for Women’s Issues, Laurie Scott (MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock) stood in the Legislature to ask the Premier to provide information on the number of offenders who are released on probation, despite their refusal to sign their probation orders.
It has been a week since MPP Scott first asked the Attorney General how many offenders – such as Basil Borutski, who was recently charged with three counts of first-degree murder – refuse to sign their orders. In response, the Attorney General indicated that all the relevant ministries were still in the process of providing input on developing a program to prevent such similar tragedies.
“The Attorney General could neither provide an answer to the question last week, nor reassure Ontarians that the government would implement a firm action plan immediately,” said Scott. “It’s important to lend my voice to the families of the women who lost their lives by asking the Premier to prove her commitment to combatting domestic violence, by ensuring violent offenders are more closely monitored.”
In 2012, the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee (DVDRC) published a report compiling a list of risk factors for enhanced risk assessment, safety planning, and possible prevention of deaths related to domestic violence. The report indicated that individuals who commit similar crimes have an increased likelihood of fatal domestic violence in the future.
“Will the Premier explain why she’s failing to act on the committee’s report to protect the victims of domestic violence?” asked Scott.
Scott believes that there are three initiatives that the government should implement: restore funding the Partner Assault Response program back to a 16-week model and dedicate more resources to eliminate the backlog; assign more probation officers for areas that are underserved; and use the DVDRC’s risk assessment tool to prevent future fatalities as a result of domestic violence.