Minister Ambrose with Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel and Police Chief Mike Boyd at the announcement for this groundbreaking initiative
Women in Edmonton will now have access to a wide range of on-site and community-based family violence support services that will help them to build a brighter future, thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada.
On behalf of her colleague, the Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages, Minister Ambrose announced federal support for the Edmonton Domestic Violence Centre Initiative, a collaborative initiative with Catholic Social Services, the Edmonton Police Services and the eigth other partners comprising the Edmonton Domestic Violence Centre Board.
“In every way, this initiative fulfills the goals of the Women’s Partnership Fund – to build partnerships to address the economic and social situation of women, and their participation in democratic life,” said Minister Verner. “This project will touch the lives of women who are often marginalized, and provide them with real opportunities and positive, life-changing results.”
Funding in the amount of $1.1 million over three years from the Government of Canada and $6.6 million from other funders will enable the Edmonton Domestic Violence Centre Board to carry out its innovative service delivery pilot project to support those affected by family violence. The Centre is expected to assist 3,000 Aboriginal and immigrant girls and women annually. Approximately one third of these individuals will be in high-risk situations destined for the courts.
“Our government is pleased to support projects like the Edmonton Domestic Violence Centre Initiative, which will meet a critical need for culturally sensitive services to Aboriginal and immigrant victims of family violence,” said Minister Ambrose. “Violence against girls and women is all the more devastating when its victims are isolated and do not have access to the services they need to stop the violence and to heal from the abuse.”
“This project is the first of its kind in Canada and is a critical step forward for social service providers in Alberta. We welcome the federal government’s partnership in this exciting, breakthrough endeavour,” said Maureen Collins of the John Howard Society, speaking on behalf of the Edmonton Domestic Violence Centre Board.
“We believe the Centre will meet the needs of marginalized girls and women as never before. It will also provide us with new insights into our responsibilities, both as service providers and as members of the wider community,” said Mike Boyd, Chief of Edmonton Police Services.
The other six partners in this endeavour are the City of Edmonton Community Services, the YWCA of Edmonton, Aboriginal Consulting Services of Alberta, the Government of Alberta Children’s Services, the Edmonton John Howard Society and the RCMP.
“The Centre will make a real difference in the lives of some of Edmonton’s most deserving but difficult to serve citizens. We are delighted to have the federal government’s partnership in this promising new project, which we have all worked so hard to bring to fruition,” said His Worship Stephen Mandel, Mayor of Edmonton.
This is the second project approved under the Women’s Partnership Fund of the Women’s Program of Status of Women Canada. The Partnership Fund supports collaborative projects with eligible non-governmental organizations in partnership with public institutions and other levels of government.
All ten partners were represented on a 24-member steering committee formed in late 2004 to lead the planning of a domestic violence centre for Edmonton and the surrounding areas. An operational board was established in January 2006 to oversee business planning and preliminary financing for the centre.