• March 16, 2007 11:29 AM
  • - General

Canada's New Government Announces Federal Victims Ombudsman and New Funding for Victims of Crime


    TORONTO, March 16 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, Q.C.,
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and the Honourable
Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety, today announced the establishment of
an office for a Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, as well as funding for
programs and services to support Canada's victims of crimes.
    This announcement, totaling $52 million over four years, fulfills a
promise made by Canada's New Government to better meet the needs of victims of
crime in matters of federal jurisdiction.
    "Canada's New Government has tremendous respect for this country's
victims of crime, and we are proud to ensure they have a stronger voice in the
criminal justice system," said Minister Nicholson. "I am proud to announce
Canada's first Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, and a multi-year
investment in victims' support services that will make a difference in their
journey for justice."
    "We have been listening to the concerns of victims, and we have delivered
with a comprehensive package of programs and services," said Minister Day.
"Today's announcement demonstrates that our new government is taking action to
have an effective and fair federal corrections system that protects Canadians
as the overarching priority."
    The Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime will be appointed to ensure
the federal government meets its legislative and policy commitments; to
promote access to existing government programs and services; and to identify
and explore systemic and emerging victim issues.
    The Ombudsman will operate at arm's length from the federal departments
responsible for victim issues, namely the Department of Justice and the
Department of Public Safety. The provinces and territories will continue to be
the primary providers of victim services and funding for victims.
    In addition, new funds will go towards helping federal, provincial and
territorial governments respond more effectively to the needs of victims of
crime across the justice and federal corrections systems. These measures will
help support victims as they go through the judicial process, and give them
greater opportunities to represent their interests.
    There will be enhancements to:- First response service delivery, which is provided when an individual
      is victimized;

    - Court-based services, which include giving individuals the opportunity
      to present victim impact statements, supporting children who have been
      victimized and other similar measures;

    - Services for victims of offenders under federal jurisdiction, to assist
      them financially in travelling to National Parole Board hearings or to
      aid those who require support persons to accompany them. As well, new
      staff positions will be created to provide services to victims on a
      full-time basis;

    - Assistance for those currently underserved by existing programs,
      including victims in the North, as well as Canadians victimized abroad,
      many of whom currently have little support.The backgrounders are available at: www.canada.justice.gc.ca



For further information: Geneviève Breton, Director of Communications,
Office of the Minister of Justice, (613) 992-4621; Media Relations, Department
of Justice Canada, (613) 957-4207; (Version française disponible);
www.canada.justice.gc.ca