Lori Walton attends the Halifax Labour Day celebration to raise awareness about the plight of transition houses. Photo: David Parker.
Bryony House is a shelter for abused women and their children. It has been operating in Halifax for 31 years, and is the largest transition house for women in Nova Scotia. Each year Bryony House offers safety and shelter to over 450 women and children and answers over 4000 distress calls.
Due to a funding freeze from the provincial government, Bryony House has not seen a funding increase since 1996. This summer Bryony House cut it’s outreach services and let go their outreach employee.
Pressure is now mounting for the NDP government to help with immediate funding. CKDU spoke with Lori Walton from the Friends of Transition Houses, and Darrell Dexter, the NDP Premier of Nova Scotia at the Halifax Labour Day celebrations.
On February 4th 2009, at least a dozen women and their allies shut down an event at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax entitled “Echoes of the Holocaust”, forcing its relocation to a church off campus. The talk, given by Jose Ruba of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, was part of the Genocide Awareness Project, which compares abortion to the Holocaust and the treatment of African Americans before the Civil Rights Movement and has been consistently denounced as hate speech. Despite the numerous phone calls and emails received by the administration denouncing the talk in the preceding days, the University decided to allow the talk to proceed. Protesters then took matters into their own hands, chanting and yelling to prevent the sexist and racist lecture from taking place.
Local feminist activist Holly Taylor responds to criticisms of the shutdown, reflecting on hate speech VS free speech, similar struggles on university campuses across the country and on continued struggles against sexism and for reproductive rights.
Click here to listen to the interview.