A centre that helps Annapolis Valley women who are sexually assaulted says it's unfairly being denied funding.
The Women’s Place Resource Centre in Annapolis Royal helps women improve their economic status and also supports women who have been sexually assaulted.
Della Longmire, the executive director of the centre, said it’s the only such centre in the province to be denied funding. The centre is making an election issue of the matter and asking the three main political parties for support.
Little help in Annapolis Royal area
“We were told it was duplication of services. We cannot see it duplicating any services because there are no services,” she said.
“There's a transition house in Kentville, there's another one in Yarmouth. But throughout the Valley, in this very, very, rural part of Nova Scotia, there are no services.”
Brenda Thompson, outreach co-ordinator at the centre, said being the victim of an attack in rural Nova Scotia brings extra problems.
“You know everyone here. Everybody. The victim knows everybody, the perpetrator knows everybody, and everybody knows those two people,” she said.
“It's really hard on the victim to report because everybody knows everybody.”
The centre applied for money to help sexual assault and domestic violence victims in the area, but was turned down.
PCs, NDP and Liberals respond
Jamie Baillie, the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, said he would change that if he's elected.
“The fact that there is a part that isn't covered, I have a real problem with that and we would fix that,” he said.
Stephen McNeil, the leader of the Nova Scotia Liberals, is also the Liberal candidate for the Annapolis riding.
“People on the ground who are doing all of the hard work know where investing this money will give us the best result. We are going to work with them and respect their decision,” he said.
Maureen MacDonald is contesting the Halifax-Needham seat for the NDP and is also the Minister of Finance..
She said no group would be left out intentionally. The provincial government allocated $1.2 million to help sexual assault centres in Nova Scotia after the high-profile Rehtaeh Parsons case.
MacDonald said there is still plenty of money to go around. The NDP would try to ensure all areas are offered such services by “filling in the gaps.”
An NDP government would rely on “organizations like the women's centres developing proposals then having access to the $900,000 still unspent,” MacDonald said.