Federal funds helping women, girls on Hornby Island
The Comox Valley Transition Society will use $127,500 in federal funds to address gender-based violence and minimal emergency and health services on Hornby Island.
Aligned with International Women's Day, the funding will enable the Hornby and Denman Community Health Care Society to develop a plan for the safety of women and girls.
In a Friday announcement, Vancouver Island North MP John Duncan said the money will help ensure "better synergy between services available on Hornby and a greater Comox Valley in terms of responding to violence against women and girls."
With Hornby's population at about 1,100, Duncan realizes islanders do not have the same resources that are available in the Comox Valley, which is "two hops away in terms of ferry services."
Funding, he added, is an "important ingredient to try and tie this thing together."
CVTS will administer the funds and hire a co-ordinator from Hornby to manage the project. It will focus on education and planning — as opposed to program service delivery — over a three-year period.
"We need to figure out how to make things safe on-island using the Comox Valley Transition Society as our support," said Hornby resident April Lewis, noting anonymity is difficult on the island.
Hornby lacks a police presence most of the year. The nearest RCMP detachment is in Courtenay.
Since 2006/'07, Duncan said government has nearly doubled funding for the Status of Women ministry, which has set priorities to ensure resources reach rural destinations such as Hornby, as opposed to national organizations.
"We're trying to take some of the politics out," he said.