Question Period: Financial Support for Women Victims of Violence in Quebec

By: The Hon. Pierre Dalphond

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Hon. Pierre J. Dalphond: My question is for the Government Representative, Senator Gold. Two weeks ago I asked some questions about the funding the federal government had announced for women’s shelters and sexual assault centres in Quebec.

In Quebec, unlike in the other provinces, federal money is not given to an association that distributes it to the shelters. It is given to the Secrétariat à la condition féminine du Québec, a provincial organization that then chooses recipients and distributes the federal money. As a follow-up to your responses, I asked two questions about the second round of funding, the $50 million that was announced in October 2020. The shelters in Quebec have informed me that they have not yet been contacted or been able to apply for grants. Time is running out. December is just around the corner and you told me in your previous response that Quebec was to distribute the money and report back by March 31, 2021. Would the government agree to extend the deadline for the second, $50-million tranche that was announced but that has not yet been distributed?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for the question. I have done some research and have been informed that the second funding tranche you refer to, the $50 million announced in October, was given a deadline extension. Previously, the province had until December 31 to disburse all the funds. The deadline of March 31, 2021, is therefore already an extension and, according to my information, there are no plans to provide another.

Senator Dalphond: My understanding is that March 31 was an extension of the deadline, from December 31 to March 31, for the first tranche of $50 million. However, the deadline for the second tranche of $50 million was also March 31. I believe it is impossible to meet these deadlines, which means that they will not be able to spend this money and prepare the report in that time frame.

Senator Gold: I will follow up to see if that is indeed the case, but according to my information, the deadline is the one I described. I have not received any information about a possibility of the money being spent by that date.

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