OTTAWA — Tom Mulcair has announced measures aimed at ending violence against women. The NDP leader committed Monday to restore the shelter enhancement program scrapped by the Conservative government, saying it would have sufficient funding to ensure no woman in need is turned away from a shelter. He also vowed to invest money in affordable housing and homelessness programs to help women fleeing violence to find a new place to live. And he announced his intention to work with women's groups, indigenous peoples, communities and organizations to create a national action plan to end violence against women and girls, with dedicated funding and benchmarks for progress. That's on top of Mulcair's previous commitment to call an inquiry into the nearly 1,200 aboriginal women who have been murdered or vanished since 1980. He said he would launch the inquiry within his first 100 days in office. A report in January from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an arm of the Organization of American States, says aboriginal women in Canada are murdered or disappear at a rate four times higher than their representation in the population. Mulcair announced the measures during a campaign stop in Saskatchewan, a province with one of the highest rates of violence against women. According to NDP research, more than 60,000 women were admitted to shelters across Canada in 2013-14, not including the children who accompanied many of them.
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