Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Budget 2021 is the Government of Canada’s plan to finish the fight against COVID-19 and ensure a robust economic recovery that is inclusive of all Canadians. 

Today, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau,  Member of Parliament for Sherbrooke Élisabeth Brière, and Member of Parliament for Brome—Missisquoi Lyne Bessette, met with almost a dozen regional organizations that provide services and support to survivors of gender-based violence to discuss investments from Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience to ensure reliable and timely access to protection and services.

The Government of Canada is committed to building a country free of gender-based violence. Gender-based violence costs women and gender-diverse people their lives. It has profound effects on children. According to estimates, Canadians collectively spend billions annually to deal with the aftermath. During the pandemic, job losses, financial stresses, and self-isolation have created conditions for a rise in gender-based violence—82 per cent of those who work on the front lines report an increase in the frequency and severity of violence experienced by survivors.

Budget 2021 proposes to invest $200 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to enhance the capacity and responsiveness of organizations such as sexual assault centres, women’s shelters, and other organizations that provide critical and often life-saving services and supports for women, girls, LGBTQ2, and gender non-binary people experiencing violence.

This funding is part of a proposed investment of $601.3 million over five year, starting in 2021-22, that will also:               

Make our communities more resilient to the threats of gender-based violence through the government’s Gender-Based Violence Program;
Establish a dedicated secretariat to coordinate the ongoing work towards the development and implementation of the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence;
Support crisis hotlines that are experiencing a rise in call volumes during the pandemic;
Bolster the capacity of Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations to provide gender-based violence prevention programming aimed at addressing the root causes of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.

“For violence against women to end, everybody must open their eyes, ears and mouths. We have to talk about it, help each other and that’s why it was important for me to have this discussion with these incredible women who work every day with victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence. I want federal funds to be directed where they will have the most positive and lasting impact.”

– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“The funding we are announcing in Budget 2021 builds on the $17M we have already deployed in Quebec over the last year, which has helped 200 organizations across the province. Everyone has the right to live free from violence. Women and children living with violence need support more than ever. Now is the time to break the stigma surrounding this violence.”

– Élisabeth Brière, Member of Parliament, Sherbrooke

“Women’s organizations fighting gender-based violence in Brome-Missisquoi are doing vital work to support women who are in dire straits. As we have heard before, many of these organizations did not have adequate resources to tackle this serious issue. I’m proud to be part of a Government that is committed to building a country free of gender-based violence.”

– Lyne Bessette, Member of Parliament, Brome-Missisquoi

We are very happy to see that the issue of gender-based violence is at the heart of the 2021 federal budget. These are investments that we, women’s groups, have been calling for a long time. These substantial amounts will not only allow the development and implementation of the National Action Plan against violence against women, but also other significant actions that will have a real impact on women victims of violence, especially domestic violence. To adequately support all these women, we need many different responses to violence and collective actions. In this sense, this federal budget represents a very good first step.”

– Mathilde Trou, co-responsible for political issues at the Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victims of conjugal violence

“The round table discussion this morning was a great start to initiating and developing a multi-sector plan with funds that are committed by the Federal Government over the next 5 years to end gender-based violence. Feminist organizations such as women’s centres have a key role to play in this process to ensure that everyone will have access to services no matter where they live. Other elements of the budget, past and present, such as the increase to child benefits, as well as affordable daycare services, will complement the support to victims of gender-based violence and their families.”

– Terry Moore, Executive Director, Lennoxville And District Women’s Centre

“This morning’s meeting demonstrates that there is will to work together to end gender-based violence. As an organization, we no longer feel like we are isolated and moving forward on our own. The feminicides of recent months have enabled us to come out of this isolation and come together to fight against this scourge. Being represented by three women federal deputies is also very positive for our region and to support our mission.”

– Cathie Sombret, General Manager, Horizon pour Elle

Jean-Sébastien Comeau

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food