Government of Canada supports women’s shelters and sexual assault centres in Guelph during the COVID-19 pandemic

May 20, 2020

Supporting Guelph Wellington WIC

The Government of Canada is committed to providing crucial support to Canada’s most vulnerable people. In these extraordinary times we are taking critical measures and making new investments in violence against women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help address the critical needs of women who experience violence and their children, and to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed new and unforeseen challenges for survivors of domestic or intimate partner violence. Women experiencing violence at home are particularly vulnerable in instances of self-isolation. The places these women would normally turn to, such as community centres, places of worship, or friends’ homes, are closed. More needs to be done to make sure they have a supportive place to turn.

Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis, which runs the violence against women shelter, Marianne’s Place and the Sexual Assault Centre in Guelph continue to provide essential services every day to survivors of gender-based violence. In these unprecedented times, there is a need for additional resources to ensure the continuity and sustainability of these services.

That’s why today, Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph is pleased to announce Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis received $32,000 for the Marianne’s Place and $25,000 for the Sexual Assault Centre in support for Guelph Wellington Women In Crisis. This funding is part of the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, in which the Government of Canada is investing up to $50 million to support shelters and sexual assault centres, including assistance to shelters on First Nations reserves.

To address immediate needs of shelters and sexual assault centres, the Government of Canada has dispersed funding to over 420 women’s shelters across Canada. Another $3 million has been distributed to approximately 89 sexual assault centres across the country. Indigenous Services Canada is providing up to $10 million to its existing network of 46 shelters on First Nations reserves and in Yukon to support Indigenous women and children fleeing violence.

This funding will support a range of activities, including efforts to increase safety, emergency preparedness, as well as support the business continuity of these organizations. Funding is expected to be used, for example, for purchasing personal protective equipment, child minding, finding women alternative housing, employee overtime and additional staff coverage and capacity.



“If home isn’t a safe place for you to be, help is available. Organizations that provide a safe place for survivors of violence are open and ready to provide support and we are deeply grateful for their tireless work at this challenging time. The quick flow of these emergency funds will help ensure that these organizations have the resources they need to continue their lifesaving work. The first phase of our emergency COVID-19 measures has enabled over 420 shelters and 89 sexual assault organizations to stay open and operate with new COVID-safe measures in place. The next phase of our supports is under way.”

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P. - Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development


“COVID-19 has touched all of our lives in Canada, but we must be mindful that facing the greatest risk are the most vulnerable, including women experiencing violence and their children. The safety and security of survivors of gender-based violence remains the utmost priority for the Government of Canada. These funds ensure swift action to address gaps in resources and services in Guelph. By going directly to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres, these funds support the continuation of timely and compassionate care for survivors.”

Lloyd Longfield -Member of Parliament for Guelph

“We at Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis have been managing a crisis within a crisis.  The Federal government’s support will help us make it through this difficult year because our capacity to fundraise our annual goal has been deeply impacted. We are very grateful for the additional support during these challenging times.”

Sly Castaldi - Executive Director, Guelph-Wellington Women In Crisis


Quick Facts

  • The overall measures announced as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses, plus $55 billion to meet liquidity needs of Canadian businesses and households through tax deferrals to help stabilize the economy. Combined, this $82 billion in support represents more than 3 per cent of Canada’s GDP. This wide-ranging support will help ensure Canadians can pay for rent and groceries, and help businesses continue to pay their employees and their bills during this time of uncertainty.
  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested over a quarter billion dollars to support capacity and sustainability of women’s and equality seeking organizations, with a focus on those supporting the underserved and underrepresented.
  • To date, our government has invested in renovating and building 7000 shelter units. A third of the National Housing Strategy is dedicated to providing affordable housing for women
  • Visit the Gender-Based Violence Knowledge Centre (KC) for access to timely and relevant information, evidence, resources and research in a single platform. The KC also provides a searchable database, which brings together existing data and evidence on content related to gender-based violence.
  • Over 100 survivor, community and family-led projects have received federal support from the Commemoration Fund to honour the lives and legacies of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, including LGBTQ and Two Spirit people.
  • In June 2017, Women and Gender Equality Canada announced the first-ever federal Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence. To date, the Government of Canada has invested over $200 million to prevent gender-based violence, support survivors and their families, and create more responsive legal and justice systems.