Opposition calls for stable funding of Nova Scotia's sexual assault programs

Nova Scotia's opposition parties say programs for sexual assault victims need stable, long-term provincial funding.

Progressive Conservative interim leader Karla MacFarlane questioned in the legislature why funding was discontinued for a sexual violence outreach program in Sydney and the Strait area of Cape Breton.

Premier Stephen McNeil says the community support network grant was a two-year program that has run out, although the provincial budget includes money that will be used in consultation with transition homes and groups who assist assault survivors.

The previous funding had been administered through the Liberal government's sexual violence strategy in 2016 and 2017.

Community Services Minister Kelly Regan says about $3.4 million will provide help for such things as prevention innovation grants, trauma counselling, and a program to help victims negotiate the court system.

But NDP Leader Gary Burrill says given the level of demand, Nova Scotia needs stable, across-the-board funding so people will know that they can access dependable, in-place programs.