It’s Time to Act
Recent federal actions
In order to prevent and address gender-based violence (GBV), the Government of Canada recognizes the need for an approach that is comprehensive, inclusive, and based on solid evidence.
In Budget 2016, investments to prevent and address GBV included:
- funding for shelters and transition housing for individuals fleeing family violence; and
- The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Responding to the Unfounded investigation
Following an investigation by the Globe and Mail into the rates of unfounded sexual assault cases in Canada, Statistics Canada has established a standardized process which will allow for the collection and use of quality statistics on unfounded criminal incidents, including sexual assaults. This follows close consultation with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. The first results are expected to be published in July 2018.
Changes to the Criminal Code
Legislation introduced by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada on June 6, 2017, reflects the Government of Canada’s ongoing commitment to ensure that victims of sexual assault and gender-based violence are treated with the utmost compassion and respect. This legislation would make several amendments to clarify and strengthen the sexual assault provisions in the Criminal Code.
Related investments were also made for Family Information Liaison Units in each province and territory and culturally grounded services and supports for family members of missing or murdered Indigenous women.
In 2017, the Government of Canada announced $100.9 million over five years, and $20.7 million per year ongoing, to establish a strategy to address GBV. The Gender-Based Violence Knowledge Centre will be created within Status of Women Canada, to better align existing resources across government to address GBV
Budget 2017 also announced a range of other actions that will help to bolster the impact of the Strategy:
|Prevention||Urban Programming for Indigenous Peoples||$118.5 million over five years||Provide support to organizations that offer programs and services to help meet the needs of urban Indigenous Peoples, support their transition to life in an urban centre, or reduce their vulnerability (e.g., help women transition out of shelters, parenting programs).|
|Support for survivors and their families||National Housing Fund||$5 billion over 11 years||Address critical housing issues, which will prioritize support for populations with distinct needs, including survivors fleeing family violence.|
|Expand Homelessness Partnering Strategy||$2.1 billion over 11 years||Includes support for community projects tailored to the needs of homeless women such as survivors fleeing family violence.|
|Increase mental health supports for First Nations and Inuit communities||$204.2 million over five years||Deliver better health outcomes for First Nations and Inuit communities.|
|Proposed changes to the Canada Labour Code||Provide federally regulated workers with new unpaid leave to seek care if they are victims of family violence.|
|Responsive legal and justice systems||Support programming on judicial education, ethics and conduct||$2.7 million over five years and $0.5 million per year ongoing||Includes gender and diversity training for judges.|
|Enhance the delivery of immigration and refugee legal aid services||$62.9 million over five years, starting in 2017–18, and $11.5 million per year thereafter||In partnership with the provinces and territories.|
|Provide long-term and stable investment in the Indigenous Justice Program||$55.5 million over five years, starting in 2017-18 and $11.1 million per year ongoing||Provide funding for community-based programs that use restorative justice approaches as an alternative to the mainstream justice system and corrections.|
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