Government of Canada meets with Aboriginal leaders, provincial and territorial governments, on taking action to end violence against Aboriginal women and girls

OTTAWA, Feb. 27, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, and the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, joined with Aboriginal leaders and representatives of provincial and territorial governments at a national roundtable to discuss how best to work together to prevent and address violence against Aboriginal women and girls.

The Ministers welcomed the participation of the families of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls who shared their stories during the course of the day.  The Ministers expressed the Government of Canada's deep concern about the high rates of violent crime perpetrated against Aboriginal women, and the devastating impact this violence has on victims, their families and communities. They welcomed the willingness of roundtable participants to continue collaborating on taking these actions, and to meet again one year from now to discuss progress being made.

Ministers Leitch and Valcourt also emphasized that the Government of Canada has consistently stated that now is the time for action, not further study through a national inquiry on this issue. They highlighted Government of Canada actions to prevent violence, support victims and protect Aboriginal women and girls. Minister Leitch specifically underscored the Government of Canada's Action Plan to Address Family Violence and Violent Crimes Against Aboriginal Women and Girls, which represents a total investment of close to $200 million over five years in order to continue to take action. The Government of Canada has also enacted over 30 measures into law since 2006 to make communities safer by holding violent criminals accountable for their crimes, giving victims of crime a stronger voice, and increasing the efficiency of the Justice system.

The Government of Canada recognizes that no organization or level of government alone can eradicate this violence. This work must be done in partnership across federal organizations, with provinces and territories, and through the leadership of Aboriginal communities and organizations.

Quick Facts

  • The RCMP's National Operational Overview, released on May 16, 2014, indicated that 225 cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls were unsolved at the time of publication. The Overview provides critical information on the nature and extent of the issue.
  • In September 2014, the Government of Canada released the Action Plan to Address Family Violence and Violent Crimes Against Aboriginal Women and Girls, which includes a range of measures to address violence against Aboriginal women and girls including the development of more community safety plans across Canada.
  • As part of the Action Plan, the Government of Canada is providing ongoing funding for family violence prevention activities and its shelters, to help address the issue of violence against Aboriginal women and girls. This is part of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada's (AANDC) Family Violence Prevention Program.
  • The Government of Canada is continuing with investments that contribute to better safety and security of on reserve residents, particularly women and children. This complements the work of provinces and territories, police and the justice system, Aboriginal families, communities and organizations. Beginning April 1, 2015 the annual program investments for AANDC's Family Violence Prevention Program will total $31.74 million.
  • Under the Action Plan, support will be made available for projects to address violence against Aboriginal women and girls. On April 1, the Government of Canada will launch a new website that will allow organizations to learn how to apply for this funding.

Quotes

"Canada is a country where those who break the law are punished, where penalties match the severity of crimes committed, and where the rights of victims are recognized. Our Government's Action Plan brings together a range of measures to address violence against Aboriginal women and girls, because these acts of violence simply will not be tolerated."

The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch
Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women

"Our Government recognizes that addressing violence against Aboriginal women is a shared responsibility that requires commitment to action from all partners, including at the community level. By meeting today and continuing to work together, we are sending a strong message that these abhorrent acts of violence will not be tolerated."

The Honourable Bernard Valcourt
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Additional Links

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BACKGROUNDER

Government of Canada Actions to Address Violence Against Aboriginal Women and Girls


 

The Government of Canada has made a series of significant investments, and undertaken important legislative actions, to support victims of crime and prevent violent crime committed against Aboriginal women and girls.

Action Plan

Total Investment: $196.8 million over five years

  • Last September, the Government of Canada released its Action Plan to Address Family Violence and Violent Crimes Against Aboriginal Women and Girls, including investments totaling close to $200 million, over 5 years.
  • The Action Plan sets out concrete actions to prevent violence, support Aboriginal victims of violence, and protect Aboriginal women and girls from violence, including the development of more community safety plans across Canada, investments in culturally-responsive assistance for victims and families, and funding shelters on-reserve.
  • The Action Plan continues efforts to reduce violence against Aboriginal women and girls and delivers on a commitment made in Economic Action Plan (EAP) 2014 to invest $25 million over five years, beginning in 2015–16. These investments include:
    • $8.6 million over five years for the development of more community safety plans off and on reserve across Canada, including in vulnerable communities with a high incidence of violent crime perpetrated against women (Public Safety Canada).
    • $2.5 million over five years for projects to break intergenerational cycles of violence and abuse by raising awareness and building healthy relationships (Justice Canada).
    • $5 million over five years for projects to engage men and boys off and on reserve, and empower women and girls in efforts to denounce and prevent violence (Status of Women Canada).
    • $7.5 million over five years to support Aboriginal victims and families (Justice Canada).
    • $1.4 million over five years to share information and resources with communities and organizations, and report regularly on progress made and results achieved under the Action Plan (Status of Women Canada).

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada funding

  • $158.7 million over five years (or $31.74 million annually), beginning in 2015, for shelters and family violence prevention program activities, including:
    • $66.2 million over five years (or $13.24 million annually) for prevention activities.
    • $92.5 million over five years (or $18.5 million annually) for shelters on reserve.

Public Safety funding

  • $8.1 million over five years, starting in 2016–17, with $1.3 million per year ongoing to create a DNA-based Missing Persons Index. This funding was announced in Economic Action Plan 2014.

Status of Women Canada funding

  • $5 million over five years, beginning in 2015, to improve economic security of Aboriginal women and promote their participation in leadership and decision-making roles.

Additional Government of Canada Funding

Status of Women Canada funding

  • Since 2007, over $22 million has been invested through Status of Women Canada for projects that support Aboriginal women and girls as they build economic security, gain leadership skills, and address issues of violence. Of this amount, $13 million has been invested directly in projects to prevent and eliminate violence against Aboriginal women.
  • For example, nearly $1.6 million is being invested over three years through Status of Women Canada in projects with seven organizations that support Aboriginal women and girls. These projects are:
    • National Aboriginal Circle Against Family Violence will receive $371,718 for a project to design and deliver culturally-appropriate tools and training on the legal issues resulting from family violence to shelters and outreach service staff in Aboriginal communities across Canada.
    • Commission de développement économique des Premières nations du Québec et Labrador will receive $249,845 for a project to address the barriers that limit the economic prosperity of entrepreneurial women in Aboriginal communities in Quebec.
    • The Conseil de la Nation huronne-wendat (Huron-Wendat Nation Band Council) will receive $249,500 for a project to reduce barriers to technical training and economic opportunities in construction trades that Aboriginal women face in remote communities of Northern Quebec.
    • Prince George Aboriginal Business Development Association will receive $209,456 to address barriers that limit the economic prosperity of Aboriginal women entrepreneurs living in Prince George and the surrounding area.
    • Carrier Sekani Family Services will receive $175,000 for a project that will identify best practices to prevent and respond to sexual violence against women and girls living on and off reserve in Northern British Columbia.
    • Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women will receive $169,912 for a project to develop and implement culturally-sensitive strategies to advance the financial preparedness of Aboriginal women in Edmonton, Alberta.
    • Newfoundland Aboriginal Women's Network Inc. will receive $166,800 to work with stakeholders in Newfoundland to improve programs and services so that they are culturally relevant and responsive to the financial preparedness needs of Aboriginal women.    
    • Pauktuutit will receive $292,105 to engage Inuit women, economic development agencies, regional chambers of commerce, and land claims organizations to develop and adapt a culturally sensitive and sustainable mentorship/sponsorship model to advance Inuit women in the resource extraction industries in the regions of Inuvialuit (NWT), Nunatsiavut (Labrador), Nunavik (Quebec), and Nunavut.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada funding

  • Since 2006, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada has invested $242.6 million in family violence prevention. These investments have allowed the Program to provide shelter services for over 19,600 children and 22,600 women, and fund over 2,100 family violence prevention and awareness activities in First Nations communities.
  • In 2013-2014, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada provided approximately $638 million in funding for the delivery of child and family services on reserve including support for approximately 9,800 First Nation children in care (in kinship care, foster homes, group homes and institutions) who are ordinarily resident on reserve.
  • In 2013-2014, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada received over $1 million in core and project funding from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.

Public Safety Canada funding

  • In March 2013, the federal government committed $612.4 million in funding over five years to renew agreements under the First Nations Policing Program. This funding provides culturally appropriate, professional, dedicated and responsive police services in First Nation and Inuit communities, and has been linked to measurable decreases in violent crime and a positive impact on the safety and security of Aboriginal communities. 
  • The National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking includes measures totaling over $25 million over four years (2012-2016). It builds on and strengthens Canada's significant work to date to prevent, detect and prosecute human trafficking, such as targeted training for law enforcement officials and front-line service providers, and enhanced public awareness measures.

Justice Canada funding

  • In Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government of Canada announced a $22.2 million investment over two years in the Aboriginal Justice Strategy, a program which aims to address the disproportionately high rates of victimization, crime and incarceration experienced by Aboriginal people. On February 14, 2015, the Government of Canada announced an additional $11.1 million for the Strategy for fiscal year 2016-2017. Evaluations show that offenders who go through an Aboriginal Justice Strategy program are 90% less likely to re-offend in the year following program completion, and 68% had not re-offended 8 years after completing the program. This contributes to reducing crime and victimization rates in communities with access to Aboriginal Justice Strategy programs. Sixty percent of Aboriginal communities now have access to these programs.
  • Since 2006, the Aboriginal Courtwork Program has contributed $4.9 million annually to participating provinces to support Aboriginal Courtworker services in criminal justice proceedings. The Access to Justice Services Agreements provide $588,000 in total annual contributions to the territories for Aboriginal courtworker services. Evaluations identify this Program's important role in providing Aboriginal people in contact with the justice system (whether as accused persons, witnesses, victims or family members) with practical assistance, information, support and referrals to appropriate services and programs.
  • Since 2006, the Government of Canada has allocated more than $140 million to give victims a more effective voice in the criminal justice system through initiatives delivered by Justice Canada. In addition to the $7.5 million dedicated in the Action Plan to support Aboriginal victims of crime and their families, the Victims Fund has made $10.47 million available to support exit strategy programming to help sellers of sexual services who wish to leave prostitution. Proposals from front-line organizations and law enforcement agencies are currently being reviewed.

Health Portfolio funding

On February 20, 2015, the Government of Canada announced a 10-year, $100 million investment to prevent, detect and combat family violence and child abuse, as part of the Government of Canada's commitment to stand up for victims. The investment will support victims of violence and their children through a multi-faceted approach that will:

    • Better equip health professionals with the information and training they need to safely support victims of domestic violence and child abuse;
    • Improve the health and well-being of victims of violence in their communities;
    • Enhance access to mental health counselling for victims of violence; and
    • Support and enhance organizations and partnerships that provide integrated services to victims of violence.
  • The funding announced includes $3 million/year for 10 years from Health Canada's First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, to enhance access to mental health counselling for First Nations and Inuit victims of violence who are in contact with family violence shelters, and to improve services to First Nations and Inuit victims of violence so that these are better coordinated, more trauma-informed and culturally competent. Targeted projects will be identified in collaboration with First Nations and Inuit partners.

Government of Canada Legislative Measures

  • The Government of Canada has introduced a number of pieces of legislation that improve the status and rights of Aboriginal women, children and families. These include:
    • Amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act allow the Canadian Human Rights Commission to accept complaints regarding actions or decisions under the Indian Act. These include decisions or actions by the Government of Canada, as well as band councils.
    • The Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act, which came into effect on January 31, 2011, ensures that eligible grandchildren of women who lost Status as a result of marrying non-Indian men will become entitled to registration (Indian Status). Because of this legislation, approximately 45,000 persons will become newly entitled to registration.
    • The Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act, which received Royal Assent in December 2013, aims to empower men, women, and children living on reserve by granting them matrimonial real property rights and protections similar to those enjoyed by individuals living off reserve. Under the legislation, First Nations may develop their own community-specific matrimonial real property laws, designed to meet their specific needs and customs. In the absence of a First Nation's law, provisional federal rules apply. The provisional federal rules in the Act contain emergency protection order provisions that are intended to better enable residents on reserve to protect themselves and their children in situations of family violence.

Actions to Create Safer Streets and Communities

  • The Government of Canada has committed to keeping our streets and communities safe for Canadians and their families. More than 30 measures have been enacted into law, and more have been introduced which are in the process of becoming law. These measures are intended to ensure that violent criminals are held accountable and that victims of crime are given a stronger voice.

 


Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act (Bill C-42)

Introduced: October 7, 2014

One of the amendments proposed in Bill C-42 would strengthen the Criminal Code provisions relating to orders prohibiting the possession of firearms where a person is convicted of an offence involving domestic violence.

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law, Bill C-35)

Introduced: May 12, 2014

Quanto's Law is aimed at denouncing and deterring the willful harming of specially trained animals used to help law enforcement officers, persons with disabilities or the Canadian Armed Forces.

Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act (Bill C-26)

Introduced: February 26, 2014

The Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act would require child sexual offenders to serve multiple sentences consecutively, one after another, instead of at the same time, increase maximum and minimum prison sentences for certain child sexual offences, and create a High Risk Child Sex Offender Database.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act (Bill C-13) Royal Assent: December 9, 2014

Effective date: March 9, 2015

The Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act protects Canadians, and in particular youth, from online exploitation by prohibiting the non-consensual distribution of intimate images. This type of cyberbullying can have devastating impacts on the victim and has been a factor in the tragic suicides of several Canadian teenagers.

Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (Bill C-36)

Effective date: December 6, 2014

The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act makes it illegal for anyone to purchase sexual services while protecting those who sell their own sexual services from criminal liability, except in very narrow circumstances where the risk of exposure to children is high. To support this legislative approach, the Government is providing new funding of $20 million to support programming for those who want to leave prostitution. Together, the legislation and funding provide a comprehensive approach to assisting victims of sexual exploitation and protecting Canadians from the harms of prostitution.

An Act to amend the Criminal Code (trafficking in contraband tobacco) (Bill C-10)

Royal Assent: November 6, 2014

Effective date: pending

This legislation will help combat the trafficking and cross-border smuggling of contraband tobacco. It will create a new Criminal Code offence with mandatory penalties of imprisonment for repeat offenders involving larger quantities of tobacco. Many of these offenders are affiliated with other serious organized criminal activity such as weapons and illegal drug trafficking.

 

Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act (Bill C-14)

Effective date: July 11, 2014

The Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act better protects Canadians from not criminally responsible (NCR) accused persons including those NCR who are found to be high risk. The Act explicitly sets out that public safety is the paramount consideration in court and review board decision-making processes relating to accused persons found to be NCR or unfit to stand trial. It enhances victim safety by, among other measures, ensuring that victims are notified, upon request, when such an accused is discharged and where that person intends to reside.

Nuclear Terrorism Act (Bill S-9) 

Effective date: November 1, 2013

The Nuclear Terrorism Act enhances the domestic legal framework to better respond to the threat of nuclear terrorism, including through the creation of four new offences, and fulfils key international commitments Canada has made in the area of nuclear security.

Combating Terrorism Act (Bill S-7) 

Effective date: July 15, 2013

The Combating Terrorism Act enhances the tools needed to anticipate and respond effectively to acts of terrorism. It re-enacted the investigative hearings and recognizance with conditions provisions that expired in 2007. It also created new offences of leaving or attempting to leave Canada to commit certain terrorism offences.

Citizen's Arrest and Self Defence Act (Bill C-26)

Effective date: March 11, 2013

The Citizen's Arrest and Self Defence Act expands the existing power to make a citizen's arrest. A property owner is now allowed to arrest a person within a reasonable amount of time after having found a person committing a criminal offence on or in relation to their property. It also simplified the law relative to the defences of property and persons.

The Ending House Arrest for Property and Other Serious Crimes component of the Safe Streets and Communities Act (Bill C-10) 

Effective date: November 20, 2012

The Safe Streets and Communities Act amended the Criminal Code to prevent the use of conditional sentences including house arrests for serious and violent offences. A conditional sentence is a sentence of imprisonment that may be served in the community provided certain conditions are met. The amendments provide an expanded and clear list of offences for which conditional sentences are not available.

The Targeting Serious Drug Crime component of the Safe Streets and Communities Act (Bill C-10) 

Effective date: November 6, 2012

The Safe Streets and Communities Act amended the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) to address serious organized drug crime. The CDSA now provides mandatory minimum penalties for serious drug offences, including those carried out for organized crime purposes and those that involve targeting youth. The legislation supports the National Anti-Drug Strategy's efforts to combat illicit drug production and distribution and help disrupt criminal enterprises by targeting drug suppliers.

The Protecting Canadians from Violent and Repeat Young Offenders component of the Safe Streets and Communities Act (Bill C-10)

Effective date: October 23, 2012

The Safe Streets and Communities Act includes reforms designed to help ensure that violent and repeat young offenders are held fully accountable, and that the protection of society is given due consideration in applying the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The Protecting Children from Sexual Predators component of the Safe Streets and Communities Act (Bill C-10) 

Effective date: August 9, 2012

The Safe Streets and Communities Act amended the Criminal Code to better protect children from sexual predators by ensuring that the penalties imposed for sexual offences against children are consistent and better reflect the heinous nature of these acts, and by creating two new offences that take aim at conduct that could facilitate the sexual abuse of a child.

The Increasing Offender Accountability component of the Safe Streets and Communities Act (Bill C-10)

Effective date: June 13, 2012

The Safe Streets and Communities Act includes amendments to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act that provide better support for victims of crime, increase offender accountability and ensure that the "protection of society" is the paramount principle of corrections and conditional release.

The International Transfer of Offenders component of the Safe Streets and Communities Act (Bill C-10) 

Effective date: May 3, 2012

The Safe Streets and Communities Act amended the International Transfer of Offenders Act to enshrine in law a number of additional criteria that the Minister of Public Safety may consider when deciding whether to allow the transfer of a Canadian offender back to Canada to serve a sentence.

The Eliminating Pardons for Serious Crimes component of the Safe Streets and Communities Act (Bill C-10) 

Effective date: March 13, 2012

The Safe Streets and Communities Act amended the Criminal Records Act, preventing the most serious criminals from seeking a record suspension (formerly called a pardon) and extending the period of ineligibility for applying for a record suspension.

Tackling Auto Theft and Property Crime Act (Bill S-9) 

Effective dates: November 18, 2010 and April 29, 2011

The Tackling Auto Theft and Property Crime Act gives law enforcement and the courts better tools to tackle auto theft and the entire range of activities involved in the trafficking of all types of stolen or fraudulently obtained property.

Response to the Supreme Court of Canada Decision in R. v. Shoker Act (Bill C-30) 

Royal Assent: March 23, 2011 Effective date: pending

This legislation and supporting regulations will help control repeat criminal behaviour by ensuring that individuals comply with court orders prohibiting drug and alcohol use.

Truth in Sentencing Act (Bill C-25) 

Effective date: February 22, 2010

The Truth in Sentencing Act limits the amount of credit courts can give for time served in custody prior to conviction and sentencing.

Identity Theft and Related Misconduct (Bill S-4) 

Effective date: January 8, 2010

This legislation provides police and justice officials with important new tools in the fight against identity theft. The act creates three new "core" Criminal Code offences targeting the early stages of identity-related crime, all subject to five-year maximum prison sentences.

An Act to amend the Criminal Code (organized crime and protection of justice system participants) (Bill C-14) 

Effective date: October 2, 2009 

This Act provides important new tools to fight the threats to Canadians posed by organized crime. The Act makes murders connected to organized crime activity automatically first-degree, created a new offence to address drive-by and other reckless shootings, and created two new offences of aggravated assault against a peace or public officer and assault with a weapon on a peace or public officer.

Tackling Violent Crime Act (Bill C-2) 

Effective dates: May 1 and
July 2, 2008 

The Tackling Violent Crime Act strengthens the Criminal Code in the following five areas:

  • Tougher mandatory jail time for serious gun crimes;
  • New bail provisions requiring those accused of serious gun crimes to show why they should not be kept in jail while awaiting trial;
  • Better protection for youth from adult sexual predators (by increasing the age of protection for sexual activity from 14 years to 16 years);
  • More effective sentencing and monitoring to prevent dangerous and high-risk offenders from re-offending; and,
  • New ways to detect and investigate drug-impaired driving and stronger penalties for impaired driving.

 

An Act to amend the Criminal Code (street racing) and to make a consequential amendment to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (Bill C-19) 

Effective date: December 14, 2006

This legislation protects Canada's streets and communities from the harm caused by street racing by creating new offences that increase penalties, including mandatory driving prohibitions for repeat offenders.

 

Victims

Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act 

(Bill S-7)

Introduced: November 5, 2014

The Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act proposes to put an end to early and forced marriage, polygamy or other types of barbaric cultural practices.

 

Victims Bill of Rights Act (Bill C-32)

Introduced: April 3, 2014

Effective date: pending

The Victims Bill of Rights Act will improve the experiences of victims of crime across the country by creating, at the federal level, clear rights for victims of crime, such as the right to information, the right to protection, the right to participation and the right to restitution.   

Protecting Canada's Seniors Act (Bill C-36) 

Effective date: January 13, 2013 

The Protecting Canada's Seniors Act better protects seniors by helping ensure tough sentences for those who take advantage of elderly Canadians. Evidence that an offence had a significant impact on the victim due to their age – and other personal circumstances such as their health or financial situation – must be considered an aggravating factor for sentencing purposes.

Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act (Bill C-10) 

Effective date: March 13, 2012

This legislation allows victims of terrorism to sue perpetrators and supporters of terrorism, including listed foreign states, for loss or damage that occurred as a result of an act of terrorism committed anywhere in the world.

An Act respecting the mandatory reporting of Internet child pornography by persons who provide an Internet service (Bill C-22) 

Effective date: December 8, 2011

This legislation protects children from online sexual exploitation by requiring suppliers of Internet services to report online child pornography. It helps identify victims so they may be rescued, and improves law enforcement's ability to identify, apprehend and prosecute offenders.

Protecting Victims from Sex Offenders Act (S-2) 

Effective Date: April 15, 2011

The Protecting Victims from Sex Offenders Act strengthens the National Sex Offender Registry and the National DNA Data Bank through the following fundamental reforms: 

  • Automatic inclusion of convicted sex offenders in the registry;
  • Mandatory DNA sampling for convicted sex offenders;
  • Proactive use of the registry by police;
  • Registration of sex offenders convicted abroad;
  • Notifications to other police jurisdictions when high-risk registered offenders travel;
  • Operational and administrative amendments to enhance registry operations; and
  • Amendments to the National Defence Act.

Serious Time for the Most Serious Crime Act (Bill S-6) 

Effective date: December 2, 2011 

The Serious Time for the Most Serious Crime Act ensures a "life" sentence means a lengthy period of incarceration by effectively repealing the "faint-hope clause," which allowed murderers to seek early parole. This legislation spares victims' families the anguish of attending repeated parole eligibility hearings and having to relive their losses over and over again.

Protecting Canadians by Ending Sentence Discounts for Multiple Murders Act (Bill C-48) 

Effective dates: March 23 and December 2, 2011 

This legislation helps ensure that each life taken is acknowledged in the sentencing process and that those who commit multiple murders serve a sentence that adequately reflects the heinous nature of their crimes. For murders committed after December 2, 2011, it allows judges to impose consecutive parole ineligibility periods on individuals convicted of more than one first- or second-degree murder.

Abolition of Early Parole Act (Bill C-59) 

Effective dates: March 23 and March 28, 2011

This legislation abolishes the previous system of Accelerated Parole Review, which allowed those convicted of non-violent offences to obtain day parole after serving one-sixth of their sentence without a formal parole hearing.

Standing Up For Victims of White Collar Crime Act (Bill C-21) 

Effective date: November 1, 2011 

This legislation cracks down on white-collar crime by toughening sentences for fraud, including a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for frauds over $1 million, and requiring judges to consider restitution for fraud victims.

 

Justice System Efficiencies

Fair and Efficient Criminal Trials Act (Bill C-2) 

Effective dates: August 15 and October 24, 2011

This legislation ensures that "mega-trials," or large and complex cases involving illegal activities such as drug trafficking, white-collar crime, terrorism, organized crime or gang-related activity, can be heard more swiftly and effectively. The Fair and Efficient Criminal Trials Act helps improve Canada's justice system through stronger case management, reduced duplication of processes, and improved criminal procedure.

Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Criminal Procedure, Language of the Accused, Sentencing and Other Amendments) (Bill C-13) 

Effective date: October 1, 2008

This legislation includes:

  • Improving court-related language rights provisions;
  • Making non-communication orders more easily available so that victims of crime can be better protected from unwanted communications from offenders serving a jail term;
  • Clarifying penalties for impaired driving offences;
  • Increasing the maximum fine for less-serious offences (summary convictions) from $2,000 to $5,000 (the amount had not been updated in more than 20 years);
  • Clarifying and codifying the current state of the law with respect to the language of trial provisions; and
  • Creating a more efficient process for executing out-of-province search warrants.

 

SOURCE Status of Women Canada

Image with caption: "In this picture: The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, accompanied by The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, met today with provincial and territorial partners, as well as Aboriginal families and leaders. (CNW Group/Status of Women Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150227_C7471_PHOTO_EN_12673.jpg

For further information: For media inquiries only: Andrew McGrath, Director of Communications, Office of the Hon. Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, P.C., O.Ont., M.P., Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, Tel: 819-953-5646, andrew.mcgrath@labour-travail.gc.ca ; Andrea Richer, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, 819-997-0002; For all other inquiries: Nanci-Jean Waugh, Director General, Communications and Public Affairs, Status of Women Canada, Tel: 819-420-6810


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