A Saanich councillor says provincial support for a centre helping survivors of sexual assault is good, but perhaps not good enough.
Coun. Ned Taylor says the provincial decision to support the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre with $200,000 over two years pleases him.
“However, I’m concerned that the province has only committed to fund this organization for two years,” he said. “This organization has been serving the region since 1982, and they need ongoing funding, not just funding for two years.”
While relieved to see the centre receive “desperately” needed funding, Taylor said he won’t be completely comfortable until the province commits to permanent, ongoing funding, a point that Taylor also made earlier this month.
MLA Mitzi Dean, parliamentary secretary for gender equity, announced the funding last week, shortly after council had passed language calling on the province to provide permanent funding.
This. Before #Saanich could write letters! Thank you @GraceALore for the important work that you do and everyone at @VSACentre! Thanks @MitziDeanBC and the provincial government! #uploaded https://t.co/ap8nbQJaIb
— Zac de Vries – Saanich Councillor (@zac4saanich) April 12, 2019
Since 2016 the centre has been running an integrated clinic where victims of sexual assault receive a number of services including medical exams, forensic tests and crisis support in one central location. Police detachments across the region including Saanich Police have used the clinic in the 3000-block of Cedar Hill Road to interview survivors.
While startup funding had come from a provincial grant of $100,000 over two years, the arrangement did not include beyond the initial two years.
Grace Lore, a spokesperson for the organization, said last week the money would ensure the centre stays open for this year and helps cover some costs into the next. The yearly budget of the centre is $204,000 but Lore said the yearly budget is actually closer to $280,000 because of accumulating downstream costs.
In an earlier interview, she also spoke of the centre’s need for a more sustainable funding model.