The COVID‑19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for survivors of sexual and domestic violence and the organizations that serve them. As we asked Canadians to stay home to protect public health, we also recognized that home is not a safe place for everyone. That is why our government acted immediately to support women and children fleeing gender-based violence, including front-line organizations here in Sault Ste. Marie.
Women’s shelters, sexual assault centres and women’s organizations in the riding of Sault Ste. Marie continue to provide essential services every day to survivors of gender-based violence. In these unprecedented times, there is a need for additional resources to ensure the continuity and sustainability of these services.
Today, having heard the voices of those most deeply affected by the pandemic, Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedNor) is pleased to announce $25,000 each in support of Algoma Family Services and Phoenix Rising.
The funding will allow Algoma Family Services and Phoenix Rising to continue providing essential services and supports during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that vulnerable members of our community have a safe place to turn. Across the country, nearly 1000 similar organizations have received funding to help them through this difficult time.
Support for these critical organizations builds on the work our government has already undertaken to advance gender-equality and address gender-based violence. As part of the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, $50 million was allocated to support organizations providing services to women and their families fleeing violence, $40 million of which is flowing through Women and Gender Equality Canada. Recognizing the critical role they play in creating a stronger Canada, since 2015 we have provided more than $230 million in dedicated funding to women’s and equity-seeking organizations across the country and are supporting more than 500 organizations with multi-year funding.