It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-based Violence
Budget 2017 announced $100.9 million over five years, starting in 2017-18, and $20.7 million per year thereafter, to establish a Strategy to Address Gender-Based Violence. The Strategy will create a Gender-Based Violence Knowledge Centre within Status of Women Canada, to better align existing resources to address gender-based violence (GBV), and include other measures that will be implemented by: Status of Women Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Public Safety Canada, the Department of National Defence, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. This will build on initiatives led by other federal departments and portfolio partners, including Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Employment and Social Development Canada, and Justice Canada. The Minister of Status of Women will also work with her colleagues to fulfill mandate letter commitments that pertain to making necessary Criminal Code changes and taking action to ensure that federal institutions are workplaces free from harassment and sexual violence.
The funds will be allocated as follows:
- $77.5 million over five years, and $16 million per year ongoing, to Status of Women Canada for a Gender-Based Violence Knowledge Centre, data collection and research, and programming;
- $9.5 million over five years, and $2 million per year ongoing, to the Public Health Agency of Canada to support implementing and testing ways to prevent GBV, including child maltreatment and teen dating violence;
- $6 million over five years, and $1.3 million per year ongoing, to Public Safety Canada to enhance efforts to address online child exploitation;
- $4 million over five years, and $0.8 million per year ongoing, to the Department of National Defence to increase funding for Family Crisis Teams, to support members of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families affected by violence;
- $2.4 million over five years, and $0.6 million per year ongoing, to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for cultural competency training for federal law enforcement officers; and
- $1.5 million over five years to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to enhance the Settlement Program.
The Budget also announced a range of other actions that will help to bolster the impact of the Strategy:
- $118.5 million over five years for Urban Programming for Indigenous Peoples, which provides support to organizations that offer programs and services that help meet the needs of urban Indigenous Peoples, support their transition to life in an urban centre or reduce their vulnerability (e.g., help women transition out of shelters, parenting programs).
Support for Survivors and their Families
- $5 billion over 11 years for a National Housing Fund to address critical housing issues, which will prioritize support for populations with distinct needs, including survivors fleeing family violence;
- $2.1 billion over 11 years to expand the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, including support for community projects tailored to the needs of homeless women such as survivors fleeing family violence;
- $204.2 million over five years to increase mental health supports for First Nations and Inuit communities; and
- Proposed changes to the Canada Labour Code to provide federally regulated workers with new unpaid leave to seek care if they are victims of family violence.
Responsive Legal and Justice Systems
- $2.7 million over five years and $0.5 million per year ongoing to support programming on judicial education, ethics and conduct, including gender and diversity training for judges;
- $62.9 million over five years, starting in 2017–18, and $11.5 million per year thereafter, to enhance the delivery of immigration and refugee legal aid services, in partnership with the provinces and territories; and
- $55.5 million over five years, starting in 2017-18 and $11.1 million per year ongoing, to provide long-term and stable investment in the Indigenous Justice Program, which provides funding for community-based programs that use restorative justice approaches as an alternative to the mainstream justice system and corrections.
This builds on the related investments made in Budget 2016, including for shelters and transition housing for individuals fleeing family violence, and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Related investments were also made for Family Information Liaison Units in each province and territory and culturally grounded services and supports for family members of missing or murdered Indigenous women.
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