Minister Bibeau and MPs Brière and Bessette highlight Budget 2021 investments to help end gender-based violence
April 27, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Budget 2021 is the Government of Canada’s plan to finish the fight against COVID-19 and ensure a robust economic recovery that is inclusive of all Canadians.
Today, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Member of Parliament for Sherbrooke Élisabeth Brière, and Member of Parliament for Brome—Missisquoi Lyne Bessette, met with almost a dozen regional organizations that provide services and support to survivors of gender-based violence to discuss investments from Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience to ensure reliable and timely access to protection and services.
The Government of Canada is committed to building a country free of gender-based violence. Gender-based violence costs women and gender-diverse people their lives. It has profound effects on children. According to estimates, Canadians collectively spend billions annually to deal with the aftermath. During the pandemic, job losses, financial stresses, and self-isolation have created conditions for a rise in gender-based violence—82 per cent of those who work on the front lines report an increase in the frequency and severity of violence experienced by survivors.
Budget 2021 proposes to invest $200 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to enhance the capacity and responsiveness of organizations such as sexual assault centres, women’s shelters, and other organizations that provide critical and often life-saving services and supports for women, girls, LGBTQ2, and gender non-binary people experiencing violence.
This funding is part of a proposed investment of $601.3 million over five year, starting in 2021-22, that will also:
- Make our communities more resilient to the threats of gender-based violence through the government’s Gender-Based Violence Program;
- Establish a dedicated secretariat to coordinate the ongoing work towards the development and implementation of the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence;
- Support crisis hotlines that are experiencing a rise in call volumes during the pandemic;
- Bolster the capacity of Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations to provide gender-based violence prevention programming aimed at addressing the root causes of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.
“For violence against women to end, everybody must open their eyes, ears and mouths. We have to talk about it, help each other and that’s why it was important for me to have this discussion with these incredible women who work every day with victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence. I want federal funds to be directed where they will have the most positive and lasting impact.”
- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
“The funding we are announcing in Budget 2021 builds on the $17M we have already deployed in Quebec over the last year, which has helped 200 organizations across the province. Everyone has the right to live free from violence. Women and children living with violence need support more than ever. Now is the time to break the stigma surrounding this violence.”
- Élisabeth Brière, Member of Parliament, Sherbrooke
“Women's organizations fighting gender-based violence in Brome-Missisquoi are doing vital work to support women who are in dire straits. As we have heard before, many of these organizations did not have adequate resources to tackle this serious issue. I’m proud to be part of a Government that is committed to building a country free of gender-based violence.”
- Lyne Bessette, Member of Parliament, Brome-Missisquoi
We are very happy to see that the issue of gender-based violence is at the heart of the 2021 federal budget. These are investments that we, women's groups, have been calling for a long time. These substantial amounts will not only allow the development and implementation of the National Action Plan against violence against women, but also other significant actions that will have a real impact on women victims of violence, especially domestic violence. To adequately support all these women, we need many different responses to violence and collective actions. In this sense, this federal budget represents a very good first step.”
- Mathilde Trou, co-responsible for political issues at the Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victims of conjugal violence
"Our society must collectively be asking questions of ourselves to prevent and ensure the safety of women, regardless of the violence they experience."
- Olga Houde, Policy Analyst and Communication Coordinator at the Fédération des maisons d'hébergement pour femmes
"The round table discussion this morning was a great start to initiating and developing a multi-sector plan with funds that are committed by the Federal Government over the next 5 years to end gender-based violence. Feminist organizations such as women's centres have a key role to play in this process to ensure that everyone will have access to services no matter where they live. Other elements of the budget, past and present, such as the increase to child benefits, as well as affordable daycare services, will complement the support to victims of gender-based violence and their families."
- Terry Moore, Executive Director, Lennoxville And District Women's Centre
“This morning’s meeting demonstrates that there is will to work together to end gender-based violence. As an organization, we no longer feel like we are isolated and moving forward on our own. The feminicides of recent months have enabled us to come out of this isolation and come together to fight against this scourge. Being represented by three women federal deputies is also very positive for our region and to support our mission.”
- Cathie Sombret, General Manager, Horizon pour Elle
Every 2.5 days a woman or girl is killed in Canada. In the last year alone there were over 160 women violently killed. Sadly, the rate of sexual assault is not declining, according to Statistics Canada, with police-reported sexual assaults increasing every year from 2015 to 2019.
Budget 2021 includes $101.4 billion over three years in proposed investments as part of the Government of Canada’s growth plan that will create good jobs and support a resilient and inclusive recovery. Key investments proposed in Budget 2021 to advance towards a new National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence include:
- $200 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, for the Department for Women and Gender Equality to support gender-based violence organizations.
- $105 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, for the Department for Women and Gender Equality to enhance its Gender-Based Violence Program.
- $14 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, to establish a dedicated secretariat to coordinate the ongoing work towards the development and implementation of the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, and to continue engagement with provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous peoples, gender-based violence experts, stakeholders and, most importantly, survivors of gender-based violence.
- $11 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, to build a better foundation of data around gender-based violence upon which government can build stronger policies and take stronger action.
- $55 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, for the Department for Women and Gender Equality to bolster the capacity of Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations to provide gender-based violence prevention programming aimed at addressing the root causes of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.
- $50 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, for the Public Health Agency of Canada to design and deliver interventions that promote safe relationships and prevent family violence, including intimate partner violence, child maltreatment, and elder abuse.
- $30 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, for the Department for Women and Gender Equality so that crisis hotlines can serve the urgent needs of more Canadians and offer more robust services, resources, and supports to prevent the escalation of gender-based violence.
- $85.3 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, for Justice Canada. Funding will support a national program for independent legal advice and independent legal representation for victims of sexual assault, as well as to support pilot projects for victims of intimate partner violence.
- $28.4 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, for Justice Canada. This will support supervision services for parenting time in cases of separation and divorce.
- $20.7 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to enhance its ability to pursue online child sexual exploitation investigations, identify victims and remove them from abusive situations, and bring offenders to justice—including those who offend abroad.
- $2 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to increase access to information and support for new Canadians facing family and gender-based violence.
- $250 million in reallocated funding which will be used for transitional housing and shelter spaces for women and children fleeing violence, as well as provide additional rental assistance through the Canada Housing Benefit for low-income women and children fleeing violence.
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
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