The provincial government is hoping to tackle the province’s abysmal record on domestic violence rates.
Saskatchewan has the highest rate in Canada at more than twice the national average. Now the government is hoping to tackle that statistic by establishing a domestic violence death panel.
The panel will first look at three to five closed cases and release an interim report before beginning a wider review of all cases from 2005 to 2014. A final report will be issued in the fall of 2017
Justice Minister Gord Wyant maintains we need to learn why this is a problem here.
“We need to look at what root causes are and what we can do to reduce those rates,” Wyant explained. “Look for commonalities, seeing whether our programming is effective and what changes we need to make to our programming or whether or not we need to take the resources we use for domestic violence programming and redeploy it in different ways.”
The panel will consist of representatives from the Office of the Chief Coroner, community-based organizations, government ministries, and police, including:
- Kent Stewart, chief coroner, office of the chief coroner
- Elizabeth Hilts, associate regional Crown, Regina prosecutions
- Mary Aspinall, domestic violence worker, Family Service Regina
- Leonard Keshane, aboriginal resource officer, Parkland Victims Services
- Rod Watson, alternatives to violence coordinator, Sun Country Health Region
- Kelly Baxter, child and family services division, Ministry of Social Services
Representatives are still being confirmed from the RCMP, municipal police, and other organizations.