December 4, 2019 – Victoria, British Columbia
Today marked the conclusion of the 37th annual meeting of Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women. Over the past few days in Victoria, British Columbia, the Ministers worked together to advance key priorities related to gender equality that will have a real and positive impact on the everyday lives of Canadians.
Ministers were welcomed to the traditional territory of the Lekwungen people, the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. They were joined by B.C.'s Minister's Advisory Council on Indigenous Women who revealed the memorial quilt honouring the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
Ministers discussed many issues of importance for achieving gender equality, such as women's economic empowerment and leadership, and gender-based violence, including cyber-violence, human trafficking, domestic violence, the safety of Indigenous women and girls, and issues facing LGBTQ2S communities. Ministers agreed to explore further collaboration to support survivors of violence and their families and to prevent these tragedies from happening. During their conversations, Ministers also highlighted collective progress in strengthening data collection and information sharing regarding women and girls and LGBTQ2S Canadians.
They also heard perspectives from two youth panels about poverty, economic opportunity, health and well-being with a focus on the challenges that people from LGBTQ2S communities, girls and young women face.
In a gathering held prior to the FPT meeting, with the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, the federal Minister for Crown-Indigenous Relations, Ministers heard from National Indigenous Leaders and Representatives about some of the pressing issues affecting Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ2S people in Canada. They discussed the Calls for Justice presented in the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The Tŝilhqot'in Women's Council also presented their work to respond to the Calls for Justice.
Moving forward, the Ministers agreed to develop a three-year strategic plan to inform their collective action to advance gender equality across Canada.
"Advancing gender equality takes a concerted effort. Meaningful change can only happen when we work in partnership. It's been a real pleasure to meet with my provincial and territorial colleagues and I am thankful to British Columbia for co-chairing our productive meetings. The opportunity for action is now, and I look forward to working in a spirit of collaboration with leaders from across the country to help reach our common goals."
The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
"There is so much we can accomplish when we come together united and I am confident that our work together will continue with as much determination as we have shown these past days. It is a historic time for B.C., having just received Royal Assent on legislation to bring the UN Declaration into provincial law and having recently undertaken important community meetings on the Calls for Justice. By leveraging our collective experience and expertise to find common ground on what we, as governments, can and should be doing, we can help make life better for all women, girls and gender-diverse people in Canada."
Mitzi Dean, MLA
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development
Manager, Communications Services
Women and Gender Equality Canada
Government of British Columbia, Ministry of Finance – Gender Equity