Thank you, Chair.
To Hiatus House, thank you. Your testimony is our final argument, basically. Everything you've said is extremely powerful, deeply articulate and terrible and true. Thank you for getting it on the record.
To the Haven Society, which is in Nanaimo and which I represent, I'm so proud of the work you do. Following on my colleague's question about collaboration, I've heard your executive director, Anne Taylor, say, “We collaborate.” The women's movement and particularly the shelter movement collaborate like crazy, yet when it comes to the point of submitting funding applications for particular programs, you have to prove and re-prove how collaborative you are. You have to invent new programs to show how collaborative you are and deliver a brand new service that has never been done. The way it's been described to me by a number of operators is that you are just going into pretzels to invent some new thing, when really what you need is to pay the workers well, keep the lights on, pay the rent and deliver the core service.
On Friday the NDP launched a new campaign in Nanaimo, and Lesley Clarke, from the Women's Resource Centre in Nanaimo, said most particularly that for women in her program and her organization she feels like she's building their safety system on a house of cards. The bottom layer of the house of cards is all these individual programs, but she has to pull out the bottom layer of the house of cards, because once you've done an innovative program, it's no longer innovative and the funding disappears.
That's what we're really trying to impress on this government: the need for the government to fund core operations so that across the country women have an equivalent access to safety and the shelter operators can just get on with their work of providing that safety net. Can you give us a picture of what that costs? What kinds of good practices has Haven had to abandon for the purpose of fitting into a new program funding operation instead of investing in that core operations funding?