The provincial government is committed to leading and supporting actions to end violence against Indigenous women and girls.
We have been clear in our support for a national inquiry and look forward to sharing the learnings and progress from our own Missing Women Commission of Inquiry (MWCI).
In B.C., work is substantively complete or well underway on all of the major themes of the MWCI Final Report: compensation, improvements to policing, safety for vulnerable women, and supports for missing women.
- Key improvements made in support of MWCI recommendations include:
- A compensation fund for all children of the missing women
- Missing Persons Unit
- Missing persons legislation
- Increasing safety along in communities along and near Highway 16.
- In 2015, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) and First Nations Health Authority co-hosted a transportation symposium with over 90 community partners to discuss transportation challenges and opportunities to improve services along the corridor from Prince Rupert to Prince George.
- In December 2016, MOTI announced a $3-million, five-point action plan resulting from the symposium that includes:
- $1.6 million over two years for transit expansion
- $750,000 over three years for a community transportation grant program to purchase and operate vehicles
- $150,000 over three years for a First Nations driver education program
- $500,000 over two years for highway infrastructure safety improvements including webcams and transit shelters
- Collaboration to increase interconnectivity of services with BC Transit, Northern Health and others
- We are supporting vulnerable women through:
- $750,000 in annual funding committed to the WISH drop-in centre
- an annual increase of almost $400,000 to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, for services to vulnerable women who work in the sex trade
- $1 million in one-time funding to other organizations providing services to individuals involved in the survival sex trade
- Enhancements to existing services for women in the Downtown Eastside, including the recently opened 52-bed, women-only emergency shelter (Powell Place Women’s Shelter)
- Spaces specifically for women and women with children who are at risk of violence
- Priority placement for women fleeing violence to help them establish community, health and educational supports.
- The Criminal Justice Branch implemented a Vulnerable Victims and Witnesses policy in response to recommendations from the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry final report.
- The policy will help to ensure that in serious cases, vulnerable adult victims and witnesses receive ongoing support from Crown counsel to ensure they have an equal opportunity to participate in the criminal justice process.