March 6th, 2019

MPP Fife calls for increased funding for sexual assault support centres

QUEEN’S PARK – During question period on Wednesday, Waterloo NDP MPP Catherine Fife asked the government to not balance the budget on the backs of survivors of sexual assault. Fife called for desperately-needed funding for victim services across the province to flow.

“In Waterloo Region, the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region (SASC) has over 200 people on their waitlist, which is a 300 per cent increase in survivors seeking out support than what they normally experience. On average, survivors in Waterloo Region wait 18 months for services at SASC,” Fife said. “The Ford government is failing survivors by underfunding their needs.”

The Ford government only gave sexual assault centres a fraction of the over $14.8 million funding boost that they were counting on. According to the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres, the funding “will not fundamentally shift the reality of wait-times at community-based sexual assault centres in Ontario.”

“Sexual assault centres developed long waits thanks to Liberal underfunding, and the promise to fix it was too little, too late. But under the Ford Conservatives, even that lifeline has been ripped away. There will be no further investments in supports that survivors need.”

“Think of the courage it takes survivors to come forward and ask for help. They deserve predictable, multi-year core funding that enables sexual assault centres to have stability.”