February 7th, 2019

Survivors in Ontario can’t keep waiting

Suze Morrison, Ontario NDP critic for Women’s Issues, said it’s simply wrong for Doug Ford to force survivors of sexual assault to wait for services as the Conservatives keep rape crisis centres in the dark about whether promised funding will flow.

The rape crisis centres were promised a 30-per-cent increase for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, but the Ford Conservatives continue to hold that funding hostage. Attorney General Caroline Mulroney refused to answer questions about the status of that desperately-needed funding during a phone call yesterday with representatives of the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres and Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes, according to participants on the call.

“Caroline Mulroney is forcing front-line workers to beg for funding that was already promised and allocated, and we’re less than two months away from the end of the fiscal year,” said Morrison. “This government is sending the message that it does not care about survivors.”

Nicole Pietsch, coordinator of the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres, said survivors of sexual violence continue to wait for services as the organization waits for information from the ministry.

“As we wait for information from the Ministry, survivors of sexual violence, meanwhile, continue to wait for services,” Pietsch said. “The Minister was unable to provide details on when money that was promised to Ontario’s sexual assault centres will be delivered. We are looking for the Ministry of the Attorney General to share information with us on whether Centres will see the 30-per-cent increase ​that was promised in 2018. In the time of #MeToo and increasing calls from survivors, these resources are more important than ever.”

The Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres is also calling for a comprehensive plan to address violence against women – a move Morrison supports.

“I urge this government to deliver the funding these centres were promised, and to make sure survivors of sexual violence have access to these vital services in their time of need now and moving forward,” said Morrison.