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Cablegate: Mission Canada Promotes Awareness of Gender-Based

VZCZCXRO4179
PP RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHMT RUEHQU RUEHVC
DE RUEHOT #1546/01 3462154
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 112154Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8847
INFO RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON 0198
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 OTTAWA 001546

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CAN, G/IWI (ANDREA BOTTNER AND SAUNDRA
LINEBERRY), AND G/TIP (BARBARA FLECK)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KWMN KPAO PHUM CA
SUBJECT: MISSION CANADA PROMOTES AWARENESS OF GENDER-BASED
VIOLENCE

REF: A. STATE 104830
B. OTTAWA 1361

1. (U) Summary: Mission Canada marked the International Day
for the Elimination of Violence Against Women with a November
25 digital video conference (DVC) that included an exchange
of best practices among leading American, Canadian, and
Portuguese governmental, NGO, and law enforcement experts.
Mission Canada had earlier also hosted an August 20 DVC
focusing on domestic violence in aboriginal communities.
Mission Canada marked the 16 Days of Activism Against
Gender-Based Violence by placing an op-ed by the State
Department's Office of International Women's Issues (G/IWI)
Director Andrea Bottner in leading Canadian national
newspapers, and by visiting a shelter for victims of domestic
violence. The Canadian Prime Minister on the December 6
National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against
Women issued a statement honoring memories of all women who
died as a result of violence and to do all possible to end
such violence. End Summary.

2. (U) In response to ref a, Embassy Ottawa and ConGen
Halifax marked the November 25 International Day for the
Elimination of Violence against Women with a DVC on
gender-based violence, featuring experts from G/IWI, the U.S.
Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
and Embassy Lisbon. The discussion shared best practices
among experts in Canada, the U.S., and Portugal. Issues
included the Violence Against Women Act and the effectiveness
of culturally-based programs in prevention. Cecilia Van
Egmond, Chairperson of the Canada's Interdepartmental Working
Group on Family Violence and Manager of the Canadian Public
Health Agency's Family Violence Prevention Unit, provided an
overview of Canadian policy and preventive measures. Ruth
Campbell, Chairperson of the Ontario provincial government's
Victims of Crime Office, described Ontario's efforts to
prevent and combat family violence, while an Ottawa police
representative presented a law enforcement perspective. NGO
representatives from human rights and faith-based
organizations attended. Nova Scotia provincial governmental
experts offered lessons learned from Halifax.

3. (U) A Mission Canada-sponsored complementary DVC on
domestic violence in aboriginal communities (ref b) had
already taken place on August 20, including participants in
Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Quebec City, Whitehorse, and
Yellowknife, as well as in the First Nation and Inuit
communities of Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet. The DVC featured
Kelly Stoner, Director of the Native American Legal Resource
Center and Clinical Programs at the Oklahoma City University
School of Law. The event included a lively discussion on the
sharing of best practices for combating and preventing
domestic violence in aboriginal communities.

4. (U) In addition to DVCs, Mission Canada's public affairs
sections raised awareness of violence against women through
the national media. ConGen Montreal placed an op-ed by G/IWI
Director Bottner in the December 9 issue of French-language
newspaper "Le Devoir," and ConGen Vancouver placed the op-ed
in the November 21 issue of the "Vancouver Sun." As part of
the "16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence," On
December 9, poloff and a visiting G/TIP official visited the
Interval House in Ottawa, a shelter for victims of domestic
QInterval House in Ottawa, a shelter for victims of domestic
violence and trafficking in persons, meeting with both the
shelter director and victims (septel).

5. (U) The Canadian government is partnering with the
Native Women's Association of Canada on a five year "Sisters
In Spirit" initiative (2005-2010) to improve the situation of
aboriginal women and prevent violence in aboriginal
communities, in particular the high rates of missing and
murdered aboriginal women. On November 20, federal Minister
of State for the Status of Women Helen Guergis signed the UN
Development Fund for Women's (UNIFEM) "Say No to Violence"
campaign in support of the International Day for the
Elimination of Violence Against Women and the 16 Days of
Activism against Gender Violence. On December 6, Prime
Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement on the "National
Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women,"
which Parliament established in 1991. Full text in para 6.

6. (U) Begin text
Statement by PM Harper on Canada's National Day of
Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women, 2008

OTTAWA 00001546 002 OF 002

December 6, 2008

December 6, 1989 was a tragic day in our history. In what
came to be known as the Montreal Massacre, 14 bright,
talented young women were shot and killed in the halls and
classrooms of their school, l'Ecole Polytechnique de
Montreal. The victims of this terrible crime were targeted
solely because they were women.

This tragedy sent shockwaves of grief and anger across Canada
and beyond, and the outrage felt by so many fuelled a
determination by Canadians to work together to end violence
against women.

With this tragedy etched on our hearts, December 6th is set
aside each year as Canada's National Day of Remembrance and
Action on Violence against Women. It is a reminder that we
must continue to work to end violence in all its forms.

On this 19th commemoration of that painful day in 1989, I
urge Canadians to honour the memories of all women who have
died as a result of violence, and to do what they can to
work to end violence in all its forms.
End text

Visit Canada,s Economy and Environment Forum at
http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/can ada

WILKINS

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