Sask. domestic violence bill calls for help on rental agreements, protection at work

Human Rights Watch wants special unit to investigate alleged Sask. police violence against Indigenous women

The opposition NDP has introduced a bill it hopes will help victims of domestic violence.

The bill, introduced by NDP Critic for Women Nicole Sarauer, would help victims get out of rental agreements and give them protection in the workplace.

"The high rate of domestic violence in Saskatchewan is nothing short of tragic," said Sarauer in a news release. "As a province, we need to step up and do all we can to support all victims who are struggling to get out of abusive situations."

The bill would give victims the right to get out of rental agreements without penalty when they are fleeing domestic violence. 

It would also force employers to make sure that victims are protected while they are at work and are entitled to paid leave.

The NDP said the bill was inspired by legislation already passed in Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario.

The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour approves of the NDP bill, stating that it would protect victims and would make Saskatchewan a leader in Canada on the topic.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Gordon Wyant said drafting legislation on the issue is a priority and he wants a bill in place by the end of session.

He voiced his concerns that Saskatchewan is the only province to not have these protections in place, while maintaining some of the highest domestic violence rates in the country.