• Stephen Lecce, MPP

Ontario Strengthens Sexual Violence and Harassment Policies at Postsecondary Institutions

January 27, 2021

The Ontario Government is proposing changes to sexual violence and harassment policies at postsecondary institutions to ensure that students alleging an instance of sexual violence and harassment are not faced with irrelevant questions about their sexual history, and do not face repercussions for violating an institution's drug and alcohol policy. The proposed changes are part of the Government's efforts to increase campus safety, and to reduce the fear and stigma for students who are making an allegation of sexual violence or harassment. "We know that many instances of sexual violence and harassment on and around campuses go unreported, and often this is because students are afraid of reprisal or concerned that they will not be taken seriously," said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. "Even one incident of sexual assault, harassment, or any other forms of violence in our communities is one too many. That is why it is so important that there are policies in place that let those affected know they can come forward without fear of reprisal." Based on recommendations from the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA), the proposed changes would require postsecondary institutions to amend their sexual violence and harassment policies to protect complainants from irrelevant questioning about their sexual history. Also, complainants would not be subject to disciplinary actions for violations of an institution's drug and alcohol use policies at the time the alleged sexual violence took place. "Our government has zero tolerance for sexual assault, and we stand with survivors and we support them in