Government of Canada invests in women’s organizations in the Thunder Bay area 

News release

May 31, 2019 – Thunder Bay, Ontario – Department for Women and Gender Equality

Women’s organizations provide vital services in our communities, supporting women and girls to be financially secure, free from violence, and able to fully participate in all aspects of our economy and society. Yet for far too long they have been chronically underfunded, underestimated and undermined. The Government of Canada recognizes that women’s organizations are the lifeblood of the women’s movement, and that maintaining and growing the ability of these organizations to do this important work is the most effective way to advance gender equality. 

That’s why today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior North, along with Don Rusnak, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Rainy River, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, announced that the Government of Canada will invest up to $3.32 million in five women’s organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women in the Thunder Bay area.

Minister Hajdu and MP Rusnak highlighted the organizations that will receive funding (please see the Backgrounder for more information and testimonials): 

  • Elizabeth Fry Society of Northwestern Ontario;
  • Northwestern Ontario Women's Centre;
  • Ontario Native Women's Association;
  • PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise; and
  • Women’s Economic Council.

Funding for these projects stems from historic Budget 2018 investments in both the Capacity-building Fund to support a sustainable women’s movement, and the Gender-based Violence Program to address gaps in support for underserved groups in Canada who experience gender-based violence.

Quotes

“In making this historic investment, we recognize the women and women’s organizations that have long been breaking through barriers, and we express our gratitude to the for what has often been decades of doing this important work on little more than a shoestring budget. The women’s movement across Canada has been asking for too long for a reliable, predictable and accessible source of funds to ensure the sustainability of their work; our government listened. I am proud now, that with stable and flexible funding, we are helping organizations in the Thunder Bay area grow and endure, because we know that investing in women’s organizations is the most effective way to advance gender equality. By supporting a movement that has achieved amazing results, we are growing the middle class, strengthening families and communities, and creating lasting change that benefits everyone.”

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality

“Each of these deserving organizations provides women in the Thunder Bay area with the necessary resources and tools for developing leadership skills and a real sense of independence. With this capacity-building funding announcement, we hope to provide them with the opportunity to develop, expand, and build sustainable futures for themselves within our community.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
Member of Parliament for Thunder BaySuperior North

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to support the growth of these incredibly important organizations in the Thunder Bay area. Though they are already successful in all they do, today’s announcement will ensure that these organizations have the resources and support they’ll need to move forward in meeting the community’s needs and advancing gender equality.”

Don Rusnak
Member of Parliament for Thunder BayRainy River

Quick facts

  • Budget 2018 announced $100 million over five years to support a viable and sustainable women’s movement across Canada. Adding to this historic investment, Budget 2019 proposes to invest a further $160 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, in the Department for Women and Gender Equality’s Women’s Program. This means that by 2023–24, the Women’s Program, which supports eligible organizations to carry out projects to advance equality by addressing systemic barriers, will total $100 million annually. 

  • This funding will enable women’s organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women to tackle systemic barriers impeding women’s progress, while recognizing and addressing the diverse experiences of gender and inequality across the country.

  • To date, the Government of Canada has invested over $200 million to prevent gender-based violence, support survivors and their families, and create more responsive legal and justice systems.

  • Gender-based violence can have lifelong impacts on an individual’s physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health. Additionally, the effects can be serious and costly. Annually, the economic impact of intimate partner violence and sexual assault is estimated to be over $12 billion.

  • Canada will host the Women Deliver 2019 Conference from June 3 to 6, 2019, in Vancouver, British Columbia. Held every three years, it is the world’s largest gathering on gender equality and the health, rights and well-being of women and girls. 

  • The conference is part of a global movement to promote gender equality worldwide and give voice to a broad spectrum of people, including Indigenous peoples, youth and those living in conflict and crisis settings. It will bring together more than 8,000 individuals—world leaders, influencers, advocates, academics, activists, youth and journalists—from more than 160 countries, with an additional 100,000 people joining virtually.

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Associated links

Contacts

Braeson Holland
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality
343-549-8825

Valérie Haché
Senior Communications Advisor
Department for Women and Gender Equality819-420-8684


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