Peterborough groups among 6 Ontario women’s organizations to receive $1.6M in federal funding

Maryam Monsef announces $1.6 million in funding for six women's organizations in Ontario.
Maryam Monsef announces $1.6 million in funding for six women's organizations in Ontario. Katrina Squazzin/Global Peterborough

The Elizabeth Fry Society of Peterborough and the Women’s Resources of Kawartha Lakes each received $246,000 in federal funding Friday as part of a $1.6-million announcement for six women’s organizations in Ontario.

Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef, minister of international development and minister for women and gender equality, made the announcement in Peterborough on Friday morning. She says the government of Canada recognizes that the funding aims to help women’s organizations continue to advance gender equality.

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Recipients of the funding include:

  • Elizabeth Fry Society of Peterborough — $246,000
  • Women’s Resources of Kawartha Lakes (Lindsay) — $246,984
  • Community YWCA of Muskoka (Bracebridge) — $199,021
  • Couchiching Jubilee House (Orillia) — $228,190
  • Huronia Transition Homes (Midland) — $166,032
  • Luke’s Place Support and Resource Centre for Women and Children (Oshawa) — $565,477

“With this historic investment, we recognize the women and women’s organizations breaking through barriers and we express our gratitude to those who have been doing this work for decades on little more than a shoestring budget,” said Monsef.

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“The women’s movement across Canada has been asking for a reliable, predictable and accessible source of funds to ensure the sustainability of their work. Our government listened. With this stable and flexible funding, we are helping organizations across Ontario, including in Peterborough–Kawartha, to grow and endure because we know that investing in women’s organizations is the most effective way to advance gender equality.”

Funding for the Elizabeth Fry Society of Peterborough, which includes the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre and Peterborough Community Legal Centre, will help create a community hub model to build capacity to respond to community issues and incidents of gender-based violence.

“Women who need our support rarely have the financial means to cope with multiple barriers to recovery after incarceration,” said executive director of the society, Debbie Carriere. “For some, even the attempt to avoid incarceration can create social and administrative obstacles that form a whole other kind of cage.

“Thanks to the government of Canada’s new way of funding women’s organizations over a multi-year term, our plan to create a community hub for women with complex trauma can proceed and rely on funding for the life of the project.”

“We are grateful for this chance to build capacity and bring hope to women in Peterborough who need our expertise and assistance,” Carriere added.

Funding for the Women’s Resources of Kawartha Lakes project will support additional training and development for staff to better assist abused women and children and incorporate gender-based analysis into all aspects of the organization.

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“Women’s Resources of Kawartha Lakes is so excited to be receiving this new funding from the federal government to provide organizational stability and to support the development of our infrastructure over the next five years,” said executive director Lori Watson.

“The needs of abused women and children have become much more complex and require specialized counselling skills to meet their needs. We work very hard to maintain our position as a competitive employer attracting well-qualified shelter workers and counsellors. This funding will help us to provide the ongoing training and development our staff need to respond effectively to the changing needs of women in our community and to strengthen our organization and the services we provide for years to come. Through this, we will be better able to support the needs of women and children in our community.”

The federal investment stems from the 2018 budget announcement of $100 million over five years to support a viable and sustainable women’s movement across Canada.

“By supporting a movement that has achieved amazing results, we are growing the middle class, strengthening families and communities and creating lasting change that benefits everyone,” said Monsef.

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