When I got elected in 2015, I met with a lot of women's organizations, the Native Women's Association and many others in my riding, and the money was practically non-existent. I know that in every budget we've had more and more investment. In 2019, we had $160 million over five years for women's programs, but at the same time, now that COVID has set in, I hear from our elders and some of the people in our communities that there seems to be an anxiety in the air. There seems to be a level of stress.
For example, in my little community, we've had three funerals in the last 10 days—not COVID-related—and that's unusual for us. There's something going on. I'm not sure what factors related to COVID-19 might contribute to an increase in some of the social issues, including gender-based violence and intimate partner violence.