December 09, 2020

Province Strengthens Protection for Survivors of Sexual Violence

Government introduced legislation today to support victims of sexual violence.

The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act, 2020 allows persons who have experienced sexual violence to end a long-term lease without penalty by providing 28-days’ notice to their landlord.

“Saskatchewan is committed to providing as much protection to survivors as possible,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said.  “We know these situations can be extremely difficult.  The length of a survivor’s lease should not be an added challenge.”

The amendments build on the protections introduced when the Act was last amended in 2017.  Those protections enable victims of interpersonal violence to terminate long-term leases without penalty in order to escape dangerous living situations.

These new amendments will provide the same option to survivors of sexual violence who are at risk in their current residence.  As part of the process, Victims’ Services will evaluate applications and determine if the person would be at risk if they continue to reside in their current home.

The amendments mirror recent changes to The Saskatchewan Employment Act, which extended protections for victims of interpersonal violence to include victims of sexual violence.

The Act also includes a series of administrative improvements that revise and expand existing provisions to reflect current practices, create more efficiency, and allow more equity between the parties.