Ontario Invests In Anti Human Trafficking Programs

Minister Gravelle takes questions from the media.
Minister Gravelle takes questions from the media.
Minister Michael Gravelle and Minister Bill Mauro
Minister Michael Gravelle and Minister Bill Mauro

THUNDER BAY – “Today’s announcement will offer community partners access to opportunities that will help develop preventative strategies, education and awareness programs, and support individuals who have been impacted by human trafficking,” states Michael Gravelle, MPP for Thunder Bay – Superior North.

“The Ontario government stands with survivors, and with communities and partners that work on prevention and supporting those affected. It is so critical that survivors of human trafficking have access to the services they need to leave a life of violence and exploitation,” says Bill Mauro, MPP for Thunder Bay – Atikokan.

MPP Michael Gravelle and MPP Bill Mauro announced $3,235,409 in funding to help end human trafficking and support survivors, through the Anti-Human Trafficking Community Support Fund. In Northwestern Ontario this includes:

  • $1,849,048 for The Askode’ewin (Courage) Program for Survivors of Human Trafficking with Ontario Native Women’s Association.
  • $506,294 for Community Support to Survivors of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation with Kenora Sexual Assault Centre.
  • $348,975 for Healing Our Own – Anit Human Trafficking Program with Beendigen Inc.
  • $291,392 for Memengwaa Anjibimadizoke ‘butterfly transforming into new life’ Project with Fort Frances Tribal Area Health Services.
  • $170,000 for Leading or Way with Nishnawbe Aski Nation.
  • $69,700 for Songs Beneath the Moon – A Cultural Poetic Narrative of Self Preservation with Indige-Spheres to Empowerment.

“Human trafficking is a reprehensible crime, one that significantly impacts Indigenous women and youth. Indigenous organizations in Ontario play a key role in supporting survivors of human trafficking. Today’s announcement will ensure these organizations can continue to deliver culturally appropriate wraparound services to survivors in their communities,” adds David Zimmer, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.

Human trafficking is a deplorable crime as well as a human rights violation that robs the safety, livelihood, and dignity of those who are exploited and abused. Because survivors are controlled mentally, physically and emotionally by traffickers, it is difficult for them to leave and find help. Those who do find a way out often need support in a range of areas, such as trauma counseling, addictions recovery, job training and more.

This funding represents a significant milestone in Ontario’s four-year Strategy to End Human Trafficking, announced in June 2016. The government is committed to addressing human trafficking so that everyone in the province can live in safety — free from the threat, fear or experience of exploitation and violence.

“Some people may be shocked to learn that human trafficking takes place in Ontario, but it’s no surprise to our partners who have been working with survivors for years. This support means specialized staff and resources will be available to help survivors move through trauma so they can live freely and in control of their own lives,” said Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services

“Human trafficking is a brutal crime that robs people of their safety and livelihood and often leads to devastating, long-lasting trauma.  It is so important to have specialized services that meet the needs of survivors. The hard work of our community partners at the local level will help survivors of human trafficking access vital services to reconstruct their lives and heal,” commented Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister of the Status of Women.


  • Ontario is providing approximately $18.6 million to 44 partners and agencies for projects up to three years as part of the Strategy to End Human Trafficking. Projects were selected following a competitive call for applications for the Anti-Human Trafficking Community Supports Fund and the Indigenous-led Initiatives Fund.
  • Hundreds of partners were engaged to inform the creation of these new funds, including those who work in victim services, children and youth services, healthcare, education, and violence against women, as well as Indigenous partners and communities.
  • Additional funding will be made available through the joint federal-provincial Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) program, which funds the creation and repair of affordable housing, down payment assistance for home ownership, and rental assistance to families and individuals in need, such as human trafficking survivors.
  • Ontario’s Strategy to End Human Trafficking includes an investment of up to $72 million to increase awareness and coordination, enhance justice-sector initiatives and improve survivors’ access to services.
  • Ontario is a major centre for human trafficking in Canada, accounting for more than two-thirds of cases nationally.
  • Of Ontario’s reported cases of human trafficking, most are for the purpose of sexual exploitation, and the majority of survivors in these cases are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
  • In Ontario, Indigenous women and girls are among the most targeted and overrepresented groups of trafficked individuals.


Backgrounder: List of projects receiving funding through the Anti-Human Trafficking Community Supports Fund and the Indigenous-led Initiatives Fund

Ontario’s Strategy to End Human Trafficking: First Year Progress Report

Progress Report on It’s Never Okay, An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment

Walking Together: Ontario’s Long-Term Strategy to End Violence Against Indigenous Women


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