Manitoba, Saskatchewan sign agreements with feds as part of gender-based violence action plan

Two provinces have signed bilateral agreements with the federal government as part of its action plan to end gender-based violence.

On Tuesday, Women and Gender Equality Minister Marci Ien announced funding agreements with Manitoba and Saskatchewan in line with the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, a 10-year agenda laid out by the federal government last year.

The federal government is committing $22.3 million over four years for Manitoba’s implementation of the national action plan, and $20.3 million over four years for Saskatchewan’s.

Both plans include province-specific funding parameters and priorities, including increasing prevention efforts, reaching underserved and at-risk populations, and stabilizing the gender-based violence sector.

In a statement Tuesday, Ien said the bilateral agreements between the federal government and the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba mark “the start of the concrete implementation” of the 10-year national plan.

“We know that we cannot end gender-based violence unless we work together, that’s why multi-level partnership is the foundation of our National Action Plan,” she wrote.

Women and Gender Equality Canada director general Crystal Garrett-Baird told reporters Tuesday that negotiations for agreements with the remaining provinces and territories are underway.

“Ending gender-based violence requires efforts from all levels of government, as well as Indigenous partners, stakeholders, frontline gender-based violence service providers, and victims and survivors,” Garrett-Baird said.

She added the Quebec government “supports the overall objectives of the national action plan,” but that it plans to implement its own policy to address gender-based violence.

“The approach to developing bilateral agreements is to address the respective challenges, needs, and individual priorities of the provinces and territories within the parameters of the national action plan,” Garrett-Baird said. “This approach reflects that there are different gender-based violence priorities in various parts of the country, and that gender-based violence continues to evolve.”

She said there will be another update in the fall as more provinces and territories sign their own agreements with the federal government.

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