Gender-based violence: 2 provinces sign new deals with Ottawa

Two states have signed bilateral agreements with the federal government as part of an action plan to end gender-based violence.

On Tuesday, Minister for Women and Gender Equality Marci Yen announced funding agreements with the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, in line with a national action plan to end gender-based violence, a decade-long agenda set by the federal government last year.

The federal government has pledged $22.3 million over four years to implement the National Action Plan in Manitoba, and $20.3 million over four years in Saskatchewan.

Both plans include state-specific funding parameters and priorities, including strengthening prevention efforts, supporting underserved at-risk populations, and stabilizing the gender-based violence sector.

Yen said in a statement on Tuesday that bilateral agreements between the federal government and the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba mark “the beginning of concrete implementation” of the national ten-year plan.

“We know that we cannot end gender-based violence without working together. That is why multilevel partnerships are the cornerstone of our National Action Plan,” she wrote.

Canada’s Director of Women and Gender Equality, Crystal Garrett Baird, told reporters on Tuesday that deal negotiations with the remaining provinces and territories are underway.

“Ending gender-based violence will require efforts not only by governments at all levels, but also by indigenous partners, stakeholders, frontline providers of gender-based violence services, victims and survivors,” Garrett Baird said.

She added that the Quebec government “supports the overall goals of the National Action Plan” but plans to implement its own policies to address gender-based violence.

“The approach to developing bilateral agreements is to address the challenges, needs and individual priorities of each state and territory within a national action plan,” Garrett Baird said. “This approach reflects the existence of different gender-based violence priorities in different regions of the country and the continuing evolution of gender-based violence.”

He said there will be another update in the fall as more states and territories sign their own agreements with the federal government.

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