The Governments of Canada and British Columbia sign bilateral agreement to end gender-based violence

News release

December 8, 2023 – Vancouver, British Columbia — Women and Gender Equality Canada

Living a life free from violence is a fundamental human right, unfortunately gender-based violence (GBV) continues to be a significant barrier to achieving gender equality in Canada. It is one of the most pervasive, deadly, and deeply rooted human rights violations of our time that affects people of all backgrounds, genders, and ages. 

Today, the Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, Katrine Conroy, Minister of Finance in British Columbia, and Kelli Paddon, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity in British Columbia, announced a historic bilateral agreement. The federal government will be investing nearly $62 million over four years to support the implementation of the National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence in British Columbia.

This comprehensive plan reflects our shared commitment to preventing and addressing gender-based violence, while empowering communities through community-led solutions. The Plan is focused on three priority areas: increasing prevention efforts; reaching underserved and at-risk populations; and stabilizing the gender-based violence sector.

Launched in November 2022 by Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers responsible for the Status of Women, the National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence is a 10-year plan that sets a framework to have a Canada free of gender-based violence – a Canada that supports victims, survivors, and their families from coast to coast to coast. The National Action Plan is informed by over 1,000 recommendations from Indigenous partners, victims and survivors, frontline organizations, and experts.

This funding will build on British Columbia’s existing investments of more than $60M annually in stable funding for provincial services and programs that address gender-based violence, sexual assault, and sexual abuse. This is in addition to $1.2 billion over 10 years to build and operate 3,000 new transition housing, second-stage housing, and long-term housing spaces for women and children leaving violence.

The new federal funding will contribute to the extensive work already underway in B.C. to increase awareness and prevention efforts, as well as enhance the services and supports for survivors, underserved populations, and populations at-risk of experiencing gender-based violence. In recognition of the disproportionate impact of GBV on Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, the ongoing crisis of those who are missing and murdered, and B.C.’s commitments and obligations under the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, more than half of the new funding will be invested in Indigenous-led initiatives that will be announced in the coming months.

Coordinated and collaborative actions from federal, provincial, and territorial governments are key in effectively preventing and addressing gender-based violence. Provincial and territorial governments will continue working together in partnership with survivors, Indigenous partners, civil society, front-line service providers, municipalities, the private sector and researchers to implement the National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence within their jurisdictions in a way that responds to the evolving needs of and emerging issues of survivors and victims of gender-based violence.


“Today’s announcement brings us one step closer to a future where everyone can live free from gender-based violence. By partnering with the provincial government, we are making sure that these supports are strong, culturally relevant and respond to the needs of communities across the province. Thank you to all frontline workers in British Columbia that work hard to keep women and children safe.”

The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

“Gender-based violence is preventable, but it will take all of us working together to meet the challenge of ending the harm to women, girls, and gender-diverse people, and ensure survivors are supported. We have a tremendous amount of work underway in B.C. and our collaboration with our federal partners is critical in our collective efforts to make our communities safer.”

Katrine Conroy, Minister of Finance in British Columbia

“This support will help us to ramp up our work supporting survivors and preventing gender-based violence in B.C. We’re stronger when we work together and I’d like to acknowledge our federal partners, and the many community service providers, advocates, and Indigenous partners we have been working with to address gender-based violence in B.C. Together we can rise to the challenge of ending the cycles of violence while providing support and healing for survivors in communities across B.C.”

Kelli Paddon, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity in British Columbia

Quick facts

  • Since 2021, the Government of Canada has committed $1.14 billion to advance toward a National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence, including $539.3 million over five years to support provinces and territories in their efforts to implement the National Action Plan.

  • B.C. provides more than $60 million annually for supports and services for people facing gender-based violence, as well as historic investments in safe spaces and housing for women and children leaving violence.

  • More than 11 million people in Canada have experienced intimate partner violence, a type of gender-based violence, at least once since the age of 15. 

  • In 2009, it was estimated that intimate partner violence has an economic cost of $7.4 billion annually, and sexual violence, a cost of $4.8 billion annually. It is further estimated that Canadian businesses lose millions due to decreased productivity and individuals being unable to work as a result of gender-based violence.

  • In 2018, 44% of women in Canada who had ever been in an intimate partner relationship—or about 6.2 million women—reported experiencing some form of intimate partner violence in their lifetime. 

  • Women are also more likely than men to experience sexual harassment in public spaces. In 2018, 32% of women—or about 4.9 million women 15 years of age or older in Canada—experienced some form of unwanted sexual behaviour while they were in a public place in 12 months preceding the survey.

  • Indigenous women (61%) were more likely to experience some form of intimate partner violence in their lifetime compared with non-Indigenous women (44%).

Associated links


Nanki Singh
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

Media Relations
Women and Gender Equality Canada

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