The Ontario government is addressing the growing strain on services due to COVID-19 by investing $3.6 million to rural frontline agencies, including 3 organizations in Barrie.
The additional investment will provide agencies with more resources, strengthen culturally responsive supports for Indigenous women, and reduce geographic and transportation barriers which will significantly improve access to quality care and services to victims in rural and remote communities.
“Someone’s location should not act as a barrier to access quality care and services,” said Jane McKenna, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. “We want to make sure that everyone affected by violence and sexual exploitation receive the supports they need, no matter where they are in the province.”
“Human trafficking and domestic violence continue to affect our communities, and providing victims with the care that they need is crucial to building a positive outcome,” said Andrea Khanjin, MPP of Barrie-Innisfil. “I am so glad that this funding will help the Women & Children’s Shelter of Barrie and the Colibri Centre to reduce transportation barriers and to continue to provide their much needed compassionate care.”
The $3.6 million investment will also help promote awareness of available local services, address service gaps and build community capacity to support women in rural and remote communities who have experienced violence and sex trafficking.
Women & Children’s Shelter of Barrie will receive $13,963
Colbri-Centre des femmes francophones will receive $13,963
Colbri (Sexual Assault Centre) will receive $10,000
The ministry will work collaboratively with rural service providers to deliver targeted localized supports and implement projects that build positive outcomes for women living in or from rural communities.
As a result of COVID-19, women and gender-diverse Ontarians have faced additional challenges, such as increased economic insecurity, greater burden of caregiving responsibilities and a rise in the incidence of domestic violence and human trafficking. Ontario established the Ontario’s Task Force on Women and the Economy to identify how the government can address these challenges.
Ontario's Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy represents the largest total investment dedicated to anti-human trafficking supports and services in Canada.
Ontario provides up to $40 million in relief funding for residential service providers that support vulnerable populations.