On December 1, 2017 the provincial government announced it will invest $5 million in one-time grants to community organizations across B.C. to better address violence against women and children. The funding is targeted to address waitlists and provide counselling, outreach, and crisis supports that are much needed around the province.
This is welcome news for those working on the front line in women's services, and who are all too familiar with the gaps in services and growing waitlists. As Premier Horgan said in his statement - "people in crisis should not have to wait for help."
The BCGEU is also pleased to see this announcement following the March 2017 release of our report Collective Wisdom: Challenges and Opportunities in BC's Women's Services. This report was informed by a strategic dialogue among BCGEU workers who provide supportive services to vulnerable women facing serious personal crisis and often gender-based violence. Its recommendations called for adequate public funding, resources to address staffing shortages, and more. (Read the report here.)
The Federal Minister of Status of Women, Maryam Monsef also took an interest in our report and the BCGEU was invited to join her at a roundtable to discuss gender-based violence earlier in September. At this meeting, it was recognized that we have to build on the work of existing organizations to empower and move towards the required changes for gender equality.
Thank you for all of the work you do, both on the front line and to support your union in advocating for improvements in this sector.
Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
Andrea Duncan, Component 3 Vice-President
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