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

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.

Read the full News Release here.

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