Addressing gender-based violence needs actions not more promises

Mar 8, 2023 | 42-4, Blog, Governance, Legislature, Question Period, Video

Since they formed government the BC NDP has consistently misconstrued promises as actions.

They promised for five years to address wage inequity and to deliver free contraception. They finally delivered on the contraception promise but instead of pay equity, British Columbians get pay transparency which is not good enough!

When it comes to addressing gender-based violence the BC NDP promised an action plan would be made public by the end of 2022. As we near the end of the first quarter of 2023, there is still no action plan. And, no funding in Budget 2023.

With respect to delivering on the Calls to Action on the National Enquiry on the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, the BC NDP government has offered a tiny amount of funding to do the work. Despite that we continue to respond to Ministerial Statements. Good words are not actions.

When the Alliance of BC Students look at Budget 2023 for funds to address gender-based violence at British Columbia post-secondary institutions, they will be disappointed.

Promises are not actions.


A. Olsen:

Today and every day, I honour the matriarchs whose patience, love and support has forged person that I am today. This question and these two questions that I’m about to ask are in honour of my friend and colleague, the Leader of the Third Party, my grandmothers, my aunties, my mother, my sisters, my nieces, cousins, my wife, Emily and my daughter, Ella.

My question to the government — what progress has been made on the many, many, many promises to address gender-based violence in British Columbia.

Hon. G. Lore:

Thank you to the member opposite for the question. I share his commitment to this work and our obligations as government, but as members of our community, to stand up against gender-based violence in all its forms. It happens in communities of every kind across our province.

We know that Indigenous women and girls, racialized women, newcomers, immigrants and trans people in our communities are disproportionately likely to face violence. We are committed to taking action on gender-based violence and supporting survivors. We’re building an action plan led by the Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity to end gender-based violence and ensure that the supports are there. While that work is underway, we’re continuing to take steps to ensure that supports are there, providing funding to about 50 community centres — sexual assault centres — and increasing it by $10 million a year.

This is funding that is for emergency sexual assault response. I know the member opposite has a commitment to this issue, as do I. We’re providing stable funding to over 400 victim services and violence against women programs, investing in housing for women leaving violence and seeking safety and opportunity with their children. This is work we’re committed to — me, personally and all those on this side of the House — and we’ll continue this work.

Mr. Speaker:

Member, for supplemental.

A. Olsen:

Nearly 45 percent of Canadian women have experienced some form of intimate partner violence, and this rate is increasing. The numbers are even higher for Indigenous women and girls and LGBTQ and two-spirit people. This government has made many promises, including the promise of an action plan to address gender-based violence that the minister mentioned. That was due by the end of 2022, and we’re nearing the end of the first quarter of 2023. We’ve not yet seen that.

I have stood many times in this House when there are ministerial statements with respect to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and the very small amounts of money that have been invested in action by this provincial government. As the minister mentioned, there have been, finally, after many years of advocacy from the minister before she was a member of this place to increase the funding for sexual assault centers. Certainly, I know there’s gratitude for that, but unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that despite the promises of action plans and the promises that have been made that gender-based violence is actually a priority for this government.

Again, the promises are not actions. When is this B.C. NDP government going to deliver on the promises with actions to address gender-based violence?

Hon. G. Lore:

With regards to the action plan, that is a commitment our government has made. We’re taking the time to get it right, including with our partners in the communities, our community partners, service delivery partners and Indigenous partners.

[2:30 p.m.]
That action plan is underway, but we’re not waiting for the plan to take those concrete steps that survivors need and that communities need. Just this week, the introduction of the intimate images act is one example.

All post-secondary institutions are now required to have sexual violence and misconduct policies, investments in transition homes and safe homes, and second-stage housing, working with our partners from police to front-line service providers. This work is underway for an action plan, and steps are taken across all parts of government to have the services and supports in there while we undertake that big picture work.


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