Government of Canada announces major investment in Toronto women’s organizations 

News release

May 24, 2019 – Toronto, 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 their ability to do this important work is the most effective way to advance gender equality.

That’s why today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Member of Parliament for Toronto-St. Paul’s, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, announced that the Government of Canada is investing up to $9.05 million in 18 women’s organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women in Toronto.

Minister Bennett highlighted the following organizations that are receiving funding (please see the Backgrounder for more information and testimonials): 

  • Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic;
  • Bridge School;
  • Canadian Women's Chamber of Commerce;
  • Elizabeth Fry Toronto;
  • G(irls)20;
  • Hospital for Sick Children – Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect Program;
  • Interval House;
  • Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children (METRAC: Action on Violence);
  • Mouvement Ontarien des Femmes Immigrantes Francophones;
  • Native Child and Family Services of Toronto;
  • Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants;
  • Riverdale Immigrant Women’s Centre;
  • Shelter Movers;
  • Springtide Resources ;
  • Times Change Women's Employment Services;
  • Toronto Rape Crisis Centre-Multicultural Women Against Rape;
  • Vesta Social Innovation Technologies; and,
  • Young Women's Christian Association of Greater Toronto.

Funding for these projects stems from historic Budget 2018 investments in 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 that experience gender-based violence.


“With our historic investments, we recognize the women and women’s organizations breaking through barriers and express our gratitude to those who have been doing this work for decades on little more than a shoestring budget. The women’s movement across Canada has been asking for a reliable, predictable and accessible source of funds to ensure the sustainability of their work; our government listened. With stable and flexible funding, we are helping organizations in Toronto 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

“Our future prosperity depends on gender equality. The Government of Canada invests in women because we know our society is much better off when everyone has equal opportunity and can live a life free of violence. I’m confident the investment today will improve the lives of countless women throughout Toronto and help make a difference to advance gender equality.”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
Member of Parliament for Toronto-St. Paul’s

“As a representative of the community of Parkdale-High Park who cares deeply about women’s equality, I’m encouraged to see our government step up with funding in the amount of $9.05 million to support amazing women’s groups in my riding and around the city that are carrying forward the critical fight to combat gender-based violence and promote women’s empowerment.”

Arif Virani
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Member of Parliament for Parkdale—High Park

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 7,000 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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Braeson Holland
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality

Valérie Haché
Senior Communications Advisor
Department for Women and Gender Equality

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