Wynne commits $100M to curb violence against indigenous women

Posted on February 23, 2016 in Child & Family Delivery System

TheStar.com – News/Queen’s Park – The Ontario government is committing $100 million in new funding to tackle violence against First Nations women.
Feb 23 2016.   By: Robert Benzie, Queen’s Park Bureau Chief

The Ontario government is committing $100 million in new funding to tackle violence against First Nations women.

Premier Kathleen Wynne said Tuesday that Queen’s Park does not want to wait until the upcoming national inquiry into the hundreds of murdered and missing indigenous women to move forward.

“The appalling statistics on violence against indigenous women reflect a reality that no one should have to endure,” said the premier, who noted that aboriginal women are three times more likely to be murdered than other women.

“We all have a role to play in putting an end to this violence,” she said, adding the initiative builds upon the government’s It’s Never Okay program launched last year to fight sexual violence and harassment.

While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has committed to holding a national inquiry into the more than 1,200 First Nations, Métis and Inuit women and girls murdered or missing in Canada, Wynne said immediate action is needed.

To that end, Finance Minister Charles Sousa’s budget on Thursday will outline a three-year, six-part plan, known as Walking Together, to help.

It consists of $80 million to support children, youth and families, including hiring 220 social workers; $15.75 million for steps to prevent human trafficking; $2.32 million in police and justice reforms; $1.15 million for violence awareness and prevention; $500,000 for improved collaboration with First Nations and Ottawa, and $750,000 for better data and research to track problems.

Sylvia Maracle, executive director of the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres, hailed the announcement as a significant step.

“I’ve never been part of a bigger hunt and gather,” said Maracle, predicting the new funding will help many indigenous communities throughout the province.

< http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2016/02/23/wynne-commits-100m-to-curb-violence-against-indigenous-women.html >

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