Advocacy Campaign

Campaign: Ontario Election 2018 – Shawn Rizvi, Green Party, Etobicoke Centre

October 27, 2021In Violence and Safety


Justin Trottier, Executive Director
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 absolutely, awareness is the first step to prevention or treatment and we can only defeat the stigma by ensuring that men are aware of the importance of taking a proactive approach to there health. We must change the narratives and do more to save the lives of our fathers, grandfathers, brothers and friends.


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?

Commission a comprehensive study to understand what the root causes are and come with with a plan of action and awareness strategy to reduce the rates within the next 2-5 years.


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 provinces.”

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?

Domestic violence must stop. There continues to be a large percentage of cases that are not reported, and we must change that for both genders. We must remove the stigma around domestic violence and we must do more as a society to stop domestic abuse.
I absolutely believe we need more shelters for abused males including children, adolescents and fathers. I would indeed advocate for more funding to help build these centers that can protect male survivors of any kind of domestic violence. These centers should also have the full capacity to help them through there trauma, and also rehabilitate them back into society to ensure we stop the cycle. We must do more to protect the vulnerable and voiceless, and create more safe spaces for survivors of domestic violence. We must also invest in proactive awareness that on how to detect, prevent and report domestic abuse.


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?

I am committed to doing more to ensure gender parity across all industries. Women and men deserve gender parity and equal pay for equal for equal work. I am an advocate for Women entering STEM and continue to work hard for parity in related fields.

Likewise, to reduce the lack of men in teaching positions and achieve parity I am committed to ensuring mandatory quotas requirements/reserved spots for male teachers. My target is for Ontario to achieve a parity of 50/50 by 2030. When our students see more
Male teachers, it will begin to change the narrative, gender assumptions and stigmas such as those around men in teaching careers. If things stay as is, it will continue to reinforce the status quo.

We must ensure more diversity within our schools, this diversity should be inclusive and reflect the population being taught. This also means ensuring minorities (ethnic, sexuality, religious, and more) are well reflected in our teacher quotas.


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 abuse.

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?

Yes absolutely. I would advocate to expand the current mandate of the FRO and also for a secondary – sister agency dedicated to ensuring children are getting what they need beyond just financial reimbursement. Children are the future of our province, we must ensure we are doing what we can to protect them and provide them equal footing to succeed. I would also advocate for the commissioning of a committee to look further on how we can improve current regulations to better protect and serve children within such cases.

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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?

The province must create incentives to reward businesses that have excellent ratings both from internal and external resources on workplace culture. I myself have served on multiple inclusive committee within multiple organizations.

We must advance the definition of success and wealth. Just as business is measured on financial success and is audited based on for compliance to financial principles we must also ensure companies are accountable for ensuring the safety of its employees. The “bottom line” definition needs to expand to include health, sustainability and culture. I would advocate for ways for the government to invest in more awareness campaigns that can inspire more survivors to come forward. Furthermroe I would advocate for investment in awareness that brings to light the benefits of creating a culture that is inclusive (performance, financial gains, etc).

I would also advocate for a committee to develop a framework that closes all loops. I I believe we should be auditing companies proactively to ensure harassments complaints are being maintained and resolved in an standard acceptable standard of resolution based on quality and quantity as per the Ontario human rights guidelines. We as a government should also be finding ways to listen to employees internally through surveys and other Channels. Companies that are doing well, will be rewarded by the great feedback of their employees and thus should also be rewarded with rebates.