Ontario Budget Brings Welcome News for Women

March 28, 2018

Today's provincial budget is good news for women says YWCA Toronto, the city’s largest multi-service women’s organization. From a transformative commitment to free child care for preschoolers in 2020, to a comprehensive gender-based violence strategy, to new investments in supportive housing, these crucial investments will help support women and their families.

“It is hopeful to see the progress in this budget on the issues of affordable child care and supports for survivors of gender based violence. This is what we have been advocating for years,” says Heather McGregor, CEO of YWCA Toronto. “You cannot talk about caring without investing in women. Women have always been the caring fiber of families and communities.”

Across Ontario, YWCA Member Associations have been calling on all parties to prioritize issues which disproportionately affect women, families and gender non-binary people: universal, affordable, high-quality child care and decent pay for educators; a continuum of safe, affordable housing options; and girls’ programming.

While Budget 2018 does commit to new supportive housing spaces, it lacks a commitment to gender responsive housing options. This includes housing for women and children fleeing situations of domestic violence, senior women, women living with disabilities, young women and Indigenous women – all of whom are over-represented in precariously housed populations.

Ontario YWCAs have also been working to build the case for investment in dedicated program funding for girls, young women and non-binary youth under a dedicated funding structure. This is a significant gap in the budget.

“When young women are given a dedicated and safe space to explore their full potential, they rise up as strong women,” says Nina Gorka, Director of Shelters, Girls and Family Programs at YWCA Toronto. “When we talk about gender equity, we need to talk about girls and invest in them as agents of change.”

With an election quickly approaching, YWCA Toronto’s message to all parties is that it will take feminist governments, feminist policies and funding agendas to move Ontario forward.

About YWCA Toronto:
YWCA Toronto is the city’s women’s organization. We help women escape violence, move out of poverty, and access safe affordable housing.
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For more information contact:
Colette Prevost, Director of Advocacy and Communications,
416.961.8100 x 350 or 647.391.4513