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Nahanni Fontaine, MLA St. Johns
November 2, 2017

Sexual Assault Awareness Training for Judges

Madam Speaker, why didn't she just sink her bottom down into the basin so he could penetrate her? Why couldn't she just keep her knees together?

Madam Speaker, sex and pain sometimes go together, that's not necessarily a bad thing. I'll grant you that the implication for her is that she wasn't enjoying the pain, but did she ever say, I was feeling horrible?

Madam Speaker, sex was in the air because they were dressed in tube tops, no bras and wearing plenty of makeup.

Madam Speaker, she was a bit flattered because it was, perhaps, the first time someone was interested in her, even though she was a little bit heavy, but she had a pretty face.

Madam Speaker, sexual assault is not the crime of the century.

If these comments make members feel uncomfortable, imagine for a moment what a victim experiences hearing a judge utter those offensive, degrading words in rendering judgment over a woman or girl's rape or sexual assault. It only further adds to the trauma that she's already endured.

This morning the Pallister government stood in this House voting against Bill 227, mandating all newly appointed judges and JJPs to undergo training on sexual assault law, culture of consent, myths and stereotypes, domestic violence, all the while cowering behind a narrative of contravening the

constitution.

The Pallister government voted against training.

Bill 227 did not say government would approve, create or administer the training, but rather, the chief judge would be responsible. It certainly didn't dictate that judges are to rule–how judges are to rule in sexual assault cases. It simply required that all new judges and JJPs take training. That's it.

I know the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, alongside our constitution, protects common sense approaches to protecting women and girls. Shame on this Pallister government voting against common sense and voting against protecting Manitoba women and girls.

Miigwech.