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The Governments of Canada and Ontario sign bilateral agreement to end gender-based violence

November 15, 2023  By Government of Canada

Nov. 15, 2023, Toronto, Ont. – Living a life free from violence is a fundamental human right, unfortunately, gender-based violence (GBV) continues to be a significant barrier to achieving gender equality in Canada. It is one of the most pervasive, deadly, and deeply rooted human rights violations that affects people of all walks of life.

The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth and Sonia Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Brampton South were joined by the Honourable Michael Parsa, Ontario’s Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, and the Honourable Charmaine Williams, Ontario’s Associate Minister of Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity, to announce a historic bilateral agreement. The federal government will be investing $162 million over four years to support the implementation of the National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence in Ontario.

“Gender-based violence is unacceptable and has no place in our country. This why we launched the National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence alongside provinces and territories to combine our efforts to address this deeply rooted issue. This historic agreement is about taking action against violence together, calling men and boys into the movement, and supporting frontline organizations to build a safer Canada for everyone,” said The Honourable Marci Ien.

This comprehensive plan contains targeted, coordinating strategies designed to prevent gender-based violence, while supporting community-led solutions. The plan is focused on three priority areas: increasing prevention efforts; reaching underserved and at-risk populations; and stabilizing the GBV sector.

Launched in Nov. 2022 by federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for the Status of Women, the National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence is a 10-year plan that sets a framework to have a Canada free of gender-based violence – a Canada that supports victims, survivors and their families from coast to coast. The National Action Plan is informed by over 1,000 recommendations from frontline organizations, survivors, experts and Indigenous partners.

This agreement will help the Government of Ontario strengthen the sector supporting survivors and people at risk of gender-based violence through enhancements to existing programs and services. The Government of Ontario, working alongside partners throughout the province, will build upon the extensive work already underway to increase awareness and prevention efforts, as well as enhance the services and supports for victims, survivors, underserved populations, and populations most at risk of experiencing GBV. This includes expanding Indigenous-led approaches that address GBV through healing, health, and wellness programming, expanding programs that foster women’s economic security, and investing in prevention initiatives. Prevention initiatives will focus on addressing the underlying attitudes, behaviours, and unique community needs.

This announcement is among a series of bilateral agreements that are being signed between the federal government and provinces and territories. It is in addition to the funding provided to Ontario earlier this year to support provincial GBV crisis hotlines. These investments will support the Government of Ontario to create and enhance critical programs and resources for victims and survivors of gender-based violence and their families.

Coordinated and collaborative actions from federal, provincial, and territorial governments are key in effectively preventing and addressing GBV. Provincial and territorial governments will continue working in partnership with survivors, Indigenous partners, civil society, front-line service providers, municipalities, the private sector and researchers to implement the National Action Plan within their jurisdictions in a way that responds to the evolving needs and emerging issues for survivors and victims of gender-based violence.

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