The provincial government has scheduled a funding announcement concerning a facility helping survivors of sexual assault.
Mitzi Dean, parliamentary secretary for gender equity, is scheduled to appear Friday morning at the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre (VSAC) at 3060 Cedar Hill Road for an event “to celebrate important new funding” for the facility. The annoucement is scheduled for 10:30 a.m.
Since 2016, the centre has been running an integrated clinic where victims of sexual assault receive a number of services including medical exams, forensic tests and crisis support in one central location. Police detachments across the region including Saanich Police have used the clinic in the 3000-block of Cedar Hill Road to interview survivors.
Earlier this month, the public heard that the facility faces an uncertain future, as it search for a new funding model.
“We try to make sure that we are open this year, as we work towards finding sustainable and predictable funding,” said Grace Lore, a spokesperson for the VSAC, which has operated at various locations since 1982, earlier this month.
Startup funding for the clinic came from a provincial grant of $100,000 over two years. “That grant did not come with any funding to ensure operation in subsequent years,” Lore said at the time. The current funding model relies on grants and donations, a model not “feasible for survival,” she said.
Earlier this week, Saanich called on the province to provide stable funding for the facility. Saanich had granted the facility $35,000 on a one-time-basis, but stressed that it would not be in the words of Coun. Karen Harper a “long-term funder” for the facility.
“This is downloading from the province,” she said. “This is a service that should be funded by the province.”
The public is about to find whether the province will follow through.