Today, West Coast LEAF Executive Director Kasari Govender travelled to Victoria for the release of the provincial budget. The budget contains mixed news for the rights and safety of women. While we are celebrating the important steps taken towards universal child care and increased investment in affordable housing, we are very disappointed by the failure to adequately fund legal aid, social assistance, and services for survivors of gender-based violence.

Read our analysis of the budget here.

West Coast LEAF believes that child care is a human right. The significant investment in child care is a welcome step towards improving human rights in BC.

Today’s announcement represents critical progress towards a universal child care system, with a focus on affordability, accessibility, inclusivity, and quality. This investment follows years of activism by women’s organizations and child care advocates, and is responsive to the huge costs and safety concerns flagged by many BC families.

However, we are very disappointed with the Province’s failure to repair the broken legal aid system. The safety, dignity, and well-being of women and children are at stake when legal aid services are deeply underfunded.

We were looking to today’s budget to address the significant gaps in the justice system, but the minimal dollars announced don’t meet the needs of those dealing with relationship breakdown or fleeing violence.

Please support West Coast LEAF to advocate for improved access to justice, as well as benefits and supports for low-income women and survivors of gender-based violence. We can’t do it without you.