Advocacy Campaign

Campaign: Ontario Election 2018 – Anita Payne, Green Party, Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston

October 27, 2021In Violence and Safety


Justin Trottier, Executive Director
Canadian Association for Equality

Policy Questions from CAFE, Canadian Association for Equality

1. In 2016, Bill 170, An Act to proclaim the week immediately preceding the third Sunday in June as
Men’s Health Awareness Week, was tabled in the Ontario legislature to recognize the importance of
addressing men’s health issues.
Would your government re-introduce this legislation or support its passage if it were
reintroduced in the House?
Yes, I believe it is important to bring awareness to the many health issues that men face. Men
can be reluctant to acknowledge their own health issues, in particular mental health issues.
More awareness can result in better outcomes.

2. In Canada, the suicide rate for males is at least three times higher than the rate for females.
What action would your government take to address the high rate of male suicide?
The Green Party pledges to invest substantially more into mental health services. I believe
that mental health issues should be discussed as part of the regular health education
curricula in elementary and high schools in Ontario.

3. All victims of domestic violence deserve support. According to Statistics Canada’s 2014 General
Social Survey on Family violence,
“equal proportions of men and women reported being victims of spousal violence during the preceding
5 years (4%, respectively). This translated into about 342,000 women and 418,000 men across the
There are over 177 shelters and residential facilities in Ontario for abused women. There are 0 shelters
dedicated to male victims of domestic violence and their families.
Would your government provide funding to support opening Ontario’s first shelter for abused
fathers and children?
Yes, I believe that men should also be protected from abusive partners.

4. Boys are dropping out of school and enrolling in post-secondary institutions at rates significantly
lower than their female counterparts. Children succeed when they have mentors or role models with
whom they can readily identify. In publicly funded preschool and primary school the percentage of
male teachers is about 16%.

What action, if any, would your government take to recruit men into the teaching profession, in
particular in preschool and elementary school?

The Green Party’s policy document, Vision Green, includes a measure to end the funding gap
of $612 per pupil between elementary and secondary students. This would mean more
money in the elementary system to support front-line services that support students and in
turn support their teachers. This may make it more appealing for men to become elementary
teachers. Another way to encourage males to become elementary teachers is to introduce or
enhance programs where older students work one-on-one with younger students in reading
programs, sports and so on. Another idea is for male elementary teachers to give
presentations to teachers-in-training.

5. According to research from the Fatherhood Project, based out of Harvard Medical School and the
Massachusetts General Hospital, father involvement is critical to advancing positive health and
psychosocial outcomes in children. Children with a strong father-child relationship display higher
levels of self-control, are more likely to succeed in school and are less likely to engage in substance
When a family breaks-up, a child counts on his or her father to continue to provide financial support
but also and equally important, to maintain a strong, loving and active relationship.
In Ontario, the Family Responsibility Office recognizes the first need by enforcing child support
payments by non-custodial parents. At this time, however, there is no agency in Ontario that enforces
child access orders generated by family courts, which is critical to ensure that non-custodial parents are
able to maximize involvement with their children.
Would you support expanding the mandate of the Family Responsibility Office or another
provincial agency to enforce child access orders?
Source :

Yes, I believe it is important for fathers to be involved in their children’s daily lives, as long as
there are assurances that the children are safe. Daily involvement could be via digital devices.
In person involvement could be supervised when deemed necessary by mental health

6. The #MeToo movement has alerted us to a problem with coercive and harassing behaviour in the
workplace. The focus now is to develop appropriate measures to effectively address this problem

without generating unintended negative consequences. In particular, we must be careful to preserve the
underlying moral principles of our legal system, which have been refined over centuries.

What role, if any, does the Government of Ontario have in taking steps to improve workplace
culture in a manner that also protects the rights of accused individuals?

A big problem is the culture of male dominance over women. To get at the root of the
problem, young children need to be raised in a culture of respect for everyone. However we
also have to take action now to improve conditions in the workplace today. We have seen
how male dominated professions have made it very difficult for women to be accepted in
those professions. Often they are the ones where women are abused and their complaints
are not taken seriously. Ongoing training in government workplaces is one way to improve the
culture. Another way is to support more women being promoted to supervisory positions.
I am not sure how the Government of Ontario can promote respectful culture in private
workplaces, but whatever can be done, should be done.
I also believe that it is important that accused individuals have the right to a fair process. Their
names should not be immediately published unless abuse claims are substantiated. It may be
difficult to sort out the truth at times. I also believe that where abuse is suspected, the alleged
abuser should not continue to work as a supervisor to the alleged victim and perhaps not
even be in the same workplace.
Education on consent and on what constitutes inappropriate comments and actions should be
encouraged in all workplaces to prevent abuse and harassment.