Budget Day is fast approaching in BC, and one thing is clear: the 2022 Budget cannot be a return to the status quo.
This is chance for BC to action commitments to gender equity, so that we may reimagine what is possible instead of returning to what was.
It’s a historic opportunity to learn lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, and address decades of cuts and systemic underfunding of social and economic supports that have impacted women and 2SLGBTQQIA people in BC, especially where marginalization is experienced on multiple, intersecting grounds.
In West Coast LEAF’s submission on BC’s Budget 2022 to the BC legislature’s Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services, we asked the Committee to ground their work in a robust gender-based analysis, and the Calls for Justice of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
We urged the Committee to make five urgent funding commitments that will address the social and economic hardships experienced by women and gender diverse people:
- Review and enhance financial supports to kinship caregivers
- Concretely implement the Calls for Justice of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
- Fund free prescription contraception
- Provide sustained core funding for transition houses and anti-violence services
- Invest in legal aid to improve access to justice in family law
Free Prescription Contraception
One of our key recommendations called on the BC government to live up to their 2020 election promise to fund free prescription contraception. Our friends at Access BC are leading this call and demanding that free prescription contraception be included in the 2022 budget.
Financial barriers to contraception limit many people’s reproductive freedom and health care options. Upholding this recommendation in the budget would advance reproductive rights and gender equality, improve health outcomes, and reduce costs to the health care system.
Write to your MLA and demand free prescription contraception in the 2022 budget. Take action.
We’ll be at the BC Legislature on February 22 for the budget release to see if it reflects the commitments we urged the Committee to make, so stay tuned!
Read West Coast LEAF’s submission on BC’s Budget 2022 (PDF)