Saanich Coun. Ned Taylor welcomes provincial support for the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, but would like to see permanent funding for the facility. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Saanich Coun. Ned Taylor welcomes provincial support for the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, but would like to see permanent funding for the facility. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Saanich councillor continues to call for permanent funding for Greater Victoria sexual assault centre

Coun. Ned Taylor says funding announced last week will help, but need for permanent support remains

A Saanich councillor says provincial support for a centre helping survivors of sexual assault is good, but perhaps not good enough.

Coun. Ned Taylor says the provincial decision to support the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre with $200,000 over two years pleases him.

RELATED: $200,000 in funding for Victoria Sexual Assault Centre

“However, I’m concerned that the province has only committed to fund this organization for two years,” he said. “This organization has been serving the region since 1982, and they need ongoing funding, not just funding for two years.”

While relieved to see the centre receive “desperately” needed funding, Taylor said he won’t be completely comfortable until the province commits to permanent, ongoing funding, a point that Taylor also made earlier this month.

MLA Mitzi Dean, parliamentary secretary for gender equity, announced the funding last week, shortly after council had passed language calling on the province to provide permanent funding.

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.

While startup funding had come from a provincial grant of $100,000 over two years, the arrangement did not include beyond the initial two years.

RELATED: Victoria Sexual Assault Centre looks for new financial model

Grace Lore, a spokesperson for the organization, said last week the money would ensure the centre stays open for this year and helps cover some costs into the next. The yearly budget of the centre is $204,000 but Lore said the yearly budget is actually closer to $280,000 because of accumulating downstream costs.

In an earlier interview, she also spoke of the centre’s need for a more sustainable funding model.


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wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

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