NDP Calls On Trudeau Government To End The Underfunding of Women's Services

NANAIMO — Following cries for help from women’s organizations struggling for decades due to the lack of federal core operations funding, the NDP’s Women’s Equality Critic, Sheila Malcolmson, is launching the NDP campaign “Time to end the underfunding of women’s services”. The campaign calls on the Liberal government to immediately provide secure, multi-year core operational funding to women’s organizations, and ensure equality of access to services and protection for all women in Canada.

“This call is rooted in first-hand testimony I’ve heard from women’s groups, shelters, transition houses, and front-line workers struggling to keep the lights on and doors open,” said Malcolmson. “The #MeToo movement is lifting the taboo on reporting violence, but federal funding to women’s services is not keeping up with the demand for much-needed help.”

Despite the all-party Status of Women committee’s recommendation for immediate federal funding to meet the growing demand for services, the Liberal government continues to underfund the work of women’s organizations throughout the country. Direct federal funding to women’s organizations represents less than 0.01% of total federal program spending; only about $1 for every woman in Canada.

“Women and children are bearing the cost of Justin Trudeau’s inaction. Failing to act on core operations funding now is placing women’s lives at risk,” added Malcolmson. “After years of neglect, Justin Trudeau’s government needs to immediately fund equal levels of services and protection for women across Canada. Women are done waiting: it’s time to act!”

Quotes from Stakeholders:

“Because of limited funding, we are unable to recruit and retain qualified individuals to our sector while the women we serve require in depth knowledge of violence, abuse, mental health, substance use, and intergenerational trauma. Without the human resources in-house or nearby, we cannot provide the wraparound services that these women so desperately need.”
— Carrie Ho, Manager of Operations, Westcoast Community Resources Society, Ucluelet, BC

“We receive no operational funding for the transition house in terms of federal money and no operational funding for our rape crisis line. We fundraise in other ways. Anything is better than what we have now. •…• I think if we have a women's equality interest, then core funding is the way that we're going to be able to sustain ourselves and be creative in this time of uprising. That's what we're all saying in a similar voice.”
— Daisy Kler, Transition House Worker, Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter

I think it's a terribly missed opportunity for this government to take a strong position of leadership on the issue of violence against women in all its forms. •…• Women and children fleeing violence in Canada receive varying levels of service depending on where they are living and fleeing to. I think that's a cause of shame for Canadians."
— Joanne Baker, Executive Director, BC Society of Transition Houses

“We look forward to a time when we are able to provide services in a building that meets the needs of women, so that they can fulfill their potential.”
— Violet Hayes, Executive Director, Island Crisis Care Society

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