Nov 24, 2022
As advocates who developed a Roadmap for the National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence, we have been anxiously waiting for the release of this 10-year plan. This statement is our joint reaction to the federal government’s release on November 9, 2022, of its long-awaited National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, which comes nearly two years after the 2021 Joint Declaration for a Canada Free of GBV. We are happy to see that all provinces and territories are committed to realizing the vision of the National Action Plan (NAP).
We are heartened to see the document’s intersectional approach and its highlighting of some key recommendations in alignment with our own, including: the need for continued engagement with advocates; national research and data; funding of core services; addressing poverty, homelessness, and housing; access to communication technology and transportation especially in rural, remote, and Northern areas; and income supports and basic needs infrastructure. Further, the document recognizes the need for mental health and addictions supports, services for children and perpetrators, and expanding alternatives to the criminal justice system.
However, the document released two weeks ago is not a National Action Plan.
Rather, it is a framework that will guide further negotiations and bilateral agreements with each province and territory. More specifically, the Framework puts forth a selection of broad suggestions for actions, which will enable provinces and territories to pick and choose, and shape their commitments around their own priorities. A NAP, as presented in our ready roadmap – would include concise actions that each province and territory commits to rather than a menu of opportunities for action. After a two-year wait, the NAP is still far from reaching its implementation phase.
By recognizing and seeking to address many of the root causes of gender-based violence (GBV), this Framework constitutes a step in the right direction. However, we are concerned that the plan is too high-level, not far-reaching enough, and therefore insufficient to reach its stated goals and effectively address the systemic nature of GBV.