This letter has been sent to all NS Federal Candidates:
31 August 2021
On behalf of our staff and Board of Directors with the Transition House Association of Nova Scotia (THANS), we
want to congratulate you on your candidacy and offer our best wishes to you, and your campaign team, in the short
weeks ahead. It’s certainly been a busy time for Nova Scotians!
We understand that your time is limited as you actively meet with residents in your community, so we thought a letter
with a brief background on our organization would be the easiest way to let you know who we are, what we do, and
our hopes for the future.
THANS is an umbrella association of violence-against-women organizations across the province; we offer a range of
services and supports to women and their families experiencing violence. These services include:
· Access to free 24-7 communal shelter and basic necessities
· Crisis lines
· Advocacy and court accompaniment
· Counseling and outreach services
Our work, sadly, continues to be indispensable, and the necessity of our services have never been more apparent than when gaps in our social system were exposed during the last 16 months of a global pandemic.
At the outset of the pandemic in spring 2020, “Stay the blazes home!”, a phrase uttered by former Premier Stephen
McNeil became a rallying call across all corners of Nova Scotia. Lost in this call-to-action was the acknowledgement
that for hundreds of women and children across our province, home is the farthest thing from the safest place to stay.
The forced isolation due to COVID-19 brought a new urgency to our work. And while short-term funding was
provided to amplify support through the pandemic, a longer-term strategy must be a priority across all levels of
As a candidate seeking elected office and a seat in our nation’s parliament, we wanted to make you aware of the
issues and actions we will be prioritizing in the immediate future, and we ask for your commitment to support this
important work by committing to the following:
Support a National Action Plan on Violence Against Women and Gender-Based Violence
In April 2021, A Report to Guide the Implementation of a National Action Plan on Violence Against Women and
Gender-Based Violence was delivered to the federal government, who committed to invest in initiating a National
Action Plan. THANS, as a member of Women’s Shelter Canada endorsed this plan. With this report, which is the
culmination of 10 years of advocacy for a National Action Plan (NAP), governments at all levels now have the
definitive answer to the question: What will it take to achieve a Canada free of gender-based violence? The
development and execution of a National Action Plan would significantly address the common barriers provincial
organizations face in order to effectively protect women and children against domestic violence.
Secure Sustainable Funding.
Transition Houses and similar organizations have long relied on a contingent mixture of annual core and project
funding. Long-term funding would allow us to better plan staffing levels that reflect cost of living increases and
establish sustainable service offerings with our partners across the province.
Immediately Address the Housing Crisis.
Nova Scotia is in the midst of an avoidable housing crisis. The inaccessibility of housing options is a key factor
preventing women from leaving abusive relationships, and in many cases contributes to their choice to return to their
abusers after they have left. We need national leadership to address this issue.
Advance Child Protection and Criminal Justice Efforts.
The child protection and criminal justice systems continue to re-traumatize women who are victims of violent genderbased crime such as domestic and intimate partner violence. While we have made progress, much remains to be done
in dismantling the colonial, racist and sexist elements at the root of these systems, which were not designed for
women’s protection, and providing strong interventional supports for women and their families involved in child
If elected, we ask for your commitment to support the above initiatives, and work across party lines to develop and
support policies protecting women against gender-based violence.
We would be more than happy at any point to answer questions you may have, or to discuss any issue pertaining to
Nova Scotia’s approach to addressing gender-based violence.
You can reach me directly at (902)429-7287 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on THANS, and to
follow our updates, visit www.thans.ca
Shiva Nourpanah, Provincial Coordinator, Transition House Association of Nova Scotia