On September 29, 2021, West Coast LEAF made a written submission on BC’s Budget 2022 to the provincial legislature’s Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. The Committee conducted public consultations on priorities for the next budget and will release a report outlining its recommendations by November 15, 2021.
The upcoming budget must not be about simply recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic to return to the status quo. Budget 2022 is a historic opportunity to learn lessons from the pandemic and address decades of service cuts and systemic underfunding of social and economic supports that have disproportionately impacted women and 2SLGBTQQIA people in the province, especially where marginalization is experienced on multiple, intersecting grounds.
West Coast LEAF has 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 offered five recommendations for systemic investments that will address the social and economic hardships experienced by women and gender diverse people. We are asking the Committee to recommend the following urgent funding commitments be made:
- Review and enhance financial supports to kinship caregivers
- Allocate funds to concretely implementing 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
- Allocate funding to legal aid to improve access to justice in family law matters
We invite any comments and questions about our submission to help inform our advocacy. Please consider filling out our feedback form, which will remain open until October 22, 2021.