Our Research

PACSW provides advice to the Provincial Government through research and analysis on emergent issues adversely impacting women. This can take the form of position papers, briefs, environmental jurisdictional scans and recommended policy options.

Research Abstracts:

Clare’s Law

“Clare’s Law” was first introduced in the United Kingdom and is named in honour of Clare Wood, a woman who was murdered by her partner and unaware of his violent past.

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme gives members of the public a ‘right to ask’ police where they have a concern that their partner may pose a risk to them or where they are concerned that the partner of a member of their family or a friend may pose a risk to that individual. The aim of this scheme is to provide a formal mechanism to make inquiries about an individual if there is suspicion of them being abusive in the past.

Since the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has committed to making our communities safe and violence free and has committed to reducing violence against women and girls, this policy is a critical step towards that goal.  When violence happens in our communities, it affects us all and the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador have the right to know if they are at risk of violence….. (click to view full research)

Taxi Regulation in Canada

When taxi companies operate without regulatory frameworks, it raises a number of issues relating to ensuring public safety, consumer protection, and other public interests. Taxi regulations play an important role in ensuring the safe, orderly operation of ground transportation services and keeping drivers, passengers and the general public safe.

Newfoundland and Labrador is among the six Canadian provinces where no provincial legislation exists. The policy gaps in NL require provincial and municipal legislators review and consider taxi operations to protect passengers who buy a service in municipal environments. The taxi industry needs provincial legislation as a regulatory framework, and also needs municipal as each municipality can tailor their by-laws to the demand of their immediate communities.

Given the Provincial Government’s and PACSW’s joint commitment to ending violence and enhancing the safety, particularly of women and girls, we feel provincial legislation regarding the taxi industry is an important contribution to advancing that commitment….(click to view full research)

Income and Child Support

Through our research, we have become aware of the government’s practice of counting child support payments as income and deducting the value of child support payments from the value of social assistance benefits. This “claw back policy” on child support violates the right of single parents to equality and conflicts with the purposes of the child support system. It denies the right of the child whose custodial parent is on income assistance to benefit from the child support.

According to the Supreme Court of Canada decision in S. (D.B.) v. G. (S.R.), 2006 Carswell Alta 976, the child support is the right and entitlement of the child and as such it cannot be treated as an income of the custodial parent. Despite the CRA’s ruling (1997), Supreme Court of Canada’s decision (2006), and the objectives of the Federal Child Support Guidelines and the NL Income and Employment Support Act, the NL Government treats the child support as income for income and employment support purposes.

Our recommendation is to eliminate the practice of child support claw back and change the provincial government’s social assistance policy to reflect these monies as non-income… (click to view full research)

Municipal Legislation Review

Municipal councils often find themselves in positions of having to deal with issues such as harassment and discrimination and few are equipped to handle these situations, particularly if they involve elected councilors. The creation of well understood, agreed upon policies and protocols related to respectful workplace is critical to providing councils with the tools to address these situations.

However, it is becoming increasingly evident that many are at a loss in terms of what to do in situations where councilors themselves are behaving inappropriately. PACSW is committed to having more women run for elected office as well as to supporting initiatives to end violence. Respectful municipalities are key to helping fulfill those goals. We, along with the other organizations working on the Respectful Municipalities working group, view the embedding of a mandatory Code of Conduct for municipal councilors in the Municipalities Act, as an essential element of building respectful municipalities.

The Department of Municipal Affairs is recommended to introduce legislation that requires council members to sign a Mandatory Code of Conduct that recognizes the importance of accountability, specifically for gender-based and workplace harassment. In addition, it is recommended that the Department of Municipal Affairs introduce a committee that has the authority to terminate a councilor in the case of exceptional workplace harassment. This authority should be transferred from the Minister of Municipal Affairs….(click to view full research)

Jurisdictional Scan of Pay Equity Legislation in Canada

PACSW recognizes that eliminating the gender wage gap is a fundamental step toward ending women’s economic inequality, achieving inclusive societies, and sustaining economies. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (The NL Government), by developing effective pay equity legislation, will play a significant role in reducing this gap.

In practical terms, pay equity is a compensation practice that requires an employer (public and private) to pay the same wage to female and male employees who are performing work of equal or comparable value. It is a broader concept than equal pay legislation that requires an employer to pay the same wage for the same (or substantially similar) work.

As of date, Newfoundland and Labrador has pay equity negotiations with public sector unions, but no actual law compelling private employers to ensure there is pay equity in their compensation practices. Bringing an effective pay equity legislation to Newfoundland and Labrador is essential to achieve women’s economic equality….(click to view full research)

Education Submission to the Premier’s Task Force

PACSW put a submission forward to the Premier’s task force, because we identify the education system in Newfoundland and Labrador as both an underlying challenge and a potential solution for a number of societal issues in our province. Following the introduction, we highlight some of the issues we feel need to be considered in the Newfoundland and Labrador education system. These issues are inclusiveness, relational approach, restorative justice, and mental wellness.

From our research, that the current policies are not achieving the desired outcomes. While the strengthening of existing policies and/or the creation of new ones may serve to make some difference, it is unlikely they will lead to positive change. A policy is only as good as its implementation, PACSW is therefore concerned with bullying, mental health issues, absenteeism, drugs, and unhealthy relationships within the school as unsolved systemic issues. As human beings we all have a need to be included, accepted and respected. Implementing the restorative justice approach we believe meets these needs. The goal of an inclusive school, as it is defined by the Department of Education, is “to offer inclusive education for all students” (Department of Education, Inclusive Education booklet).

Parents, educators and the community all have a shared responsibility to educate the children and youth. The onus should not be on the teacher alone. As the famous adage states, “It takes a community to raise a child.” School should be a place where students look forward to going, they feel safe, feel they belong, feel accepted for who they are by their peers and teachers. It should also be a place where teachers and administrators feel the same….(click to view full research)

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