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MONTRÉAL, March 23, 2018 – Today, Marie Montpetit, Minister of Culture and Communications and Minister responsible for the Protection and Promotion of the French Language, and Hélène David, Minister responsible for Higher Education and the Status of Women, announced financial aid totalling $900,000 to fight sexual assault and harassment in Quebec’s cultural sector.
This sum will allow for the implementation of three measures stemming from the forum on sexual assault and harassment, which was held in December 2017 and chaired by Ms. David. These measures will support mobilisation and cooperation among Quebec’s cultural organizations.
$360,000 of the promised sum will go to the Union des Artistes (UDA) over the course of three years to create an aid office offering help and support for artists and cultural workers who have survived any type of sexual assault or harassment. This mandate will be entrusted to the Clinique Juridique Juripop.
$540,000 over four years will go to the Institut National de l’Image et du Son (INIS) for the development of sexual violence awareness and prevention training programs targeting the entirety of Quebec’s cultural sector. The INIS will collaborate with the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications to help arts schools and organizations establish policies concerning harassment.
Today, we take an important step forward in the fight against sexual assault and harassment. Each and every case of misconduct is unacceptable. The cultural sector has been particularly affected by the wave of allegations this past autumn. The financial aid announced today will contribute to ensuring safe work environments and supporting victims, particularly by easing the reporting process for artists and cultural workers. I salute the courageous survivors who have come forward, and I congratulate the cultural community for its mobilisation in the wake of these declarations.
– Marie Montpetit, Minister of Culture and Communications and Minister responsible for the Protection and Promotion of the French Language
Sexual violence has no place in our society. It is simply unacceptable. By supporting these awareness, training and victim aid initiatives, the government of Quebec reaffirms its commitment to preventing and fighting sexual violence in all its forms. I salute the courage of all the women and men who have spoken out despite their fear, grief or anger, and I invite the entire cultural sector to continue mobilizing to eliminate this social scourge.
– Hélène David, Minister responsible for Higher Education and the Status of Women
This is excellent news! The government listened to our cultural community and understood the urgent need to act to combat harassment. We welcome the decision to allocate more funds. This money will allow us to create an aid office, a wonderful tool that will serve the entire cultural sector and address our particular needs. Juripop’s new aid office and the INIS’s new training programs will hopefully enable us all to work in an environment free of any sort of harassment.
– Sophie Prégent, President of the Union des Artistes and spokesperson for thirty associations, organizations, groups and unions in the cultural sector
- In Fall 2017, Québec experienced a wave of sexual assault and harassment allegations, particularly in the culture, media and communications sector.
- On October 30, 2017, the Minister of Culture and Communications met with representatives from eight associations representing artists, artisans and producers to offer ministry aid in developing solutions to facilitate reporting and prevention.
- Since November 2017, a select committee made up of AQPM, ADISQ, AQTIS and UDA representatives working on behalf of 38 associations, organizations, groups and unions in the cultural sector has been working on an action plan to counteract sexual violence, which includes the creation of an office to offer help and support for artists and cultural workers who have survived any type of sexual assault or harassment.
- On December 14, 2017, a forum on sexual assault and harassment was held. On this occasion, financial aid totalling $25 million over three years was promised in order to implement and reinforce measures linked to preventing sexual assault and harassment, easing the reporting process, and supporting victims, particularly through the legal process. This forum was part of the implementation of the 2016-2021 Government Strategy to Prevent and Counteract Sexual Violence.