Vancouver says restore domestic violence program

Motion adopted unanimously asks province to reverse decision on program killed in July at VGH.

Reid Johnson, president of the Health Sciences Association of B.C. (HSABC/NUPGE)Vancouver (13 Oct. 2010) - Vancouver City Council passed a motion unanimously calling for the restoration of the outpatient Domestic Violence Program at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH).

VGH closed the clinic in a surprise move over the summer without consulting emergency room staff or the community.

Brendan Shields of the Health Sciences Association of B.C. (HSABC/NUPGE) spoke for the union in support of the motion, telling councillors that the announcement was made suddenly on July 27.

“The sudden closure caused immediate and wide-spread public and media outcry – including features on CBC TV (French and English), The Georgia Straight and The Tyee,” he said.
 
Shields also told council about the women who had benefited from the expert counselling and safety planning offered through the program.

“With great courage, vulnerable women who had benefited from the clinic have been speaking out to the media with their stories. They have been telling us about their harrowing experiences, and we join with them in urging that the clinic remain open,” he said.

HSABC president Reid Johnson says the support of Vancouver City Council will carry significant weight with the ministry of health.

“I hope Minister Kevin Falcon will listen to Vancouver City Council," Johnson says.

“Vancouver has a tragic recent history – and ongoing issues – with violence against women in this city. I know city councillors are working hard to do everything they can to prevent further tragedy,” he said.

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

More information:
Domestic violence program about to close in B.C.
HSABC tries to save domestic violence program

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