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Proposed changes to Quebec law unveiled at forum on sexual violence

The Forum Against Sexual Violence included about 200 attendees in Quebec City. Jean-Vincent Verville/Global News

Quebec’s Higher Education minister, Hélène David, unveiled a sheaf of new policies at a forum against sexual violence held in Quebec City Thursday afternoon.

At a gathering of about 200 people drawn from government, community organizations and outreach workers such as psychologists, David handed down long-awaited policies that have become more urgent in the wake of the #MeToo campaign.

READ MORE: Quebec sexual assault bill focuses on campuses

With among more than a dozen measures announced, the province will invest $25 million over three years to fight the problem of sexual violence.

Most of that money is expected to go toward improving access to aid services for victims.

Other changes include making it obligatory for employers to have a sexual harassment policy, increased training for police in investigating sexual assault, and modifying the provincial labour code to include prohibitions on sexual harassment.

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READ MORE: Canada’s sexual violence problem gets half-baked treatment in research: expert

“It’s an important issue for society,” said Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard. “We have to take care and show people that we care and we want to help them.”

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