OTTAWA, April 23, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, Canada's Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Steven Blaney and Member of Parliament for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, David Sweet, highlighted the Royal Assent of the Fairness for the Victims of Violent Offenders Act.
This Bill, introduced by Member of Parliament David Sweet, amends the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to further strengthen victim's rights and is in keeping with the Harper Government's plan for safe streets and communities.
The Bill will:
- extend mandatory parole review periods by the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) for violent criminals who are denied parole, to reviewing the case within five years rather than the current two years;
- provide PBC with the authority to cancel the next parole review hearing for a criminal who refused to attend or waived a hearing on more than one occasion;
- allow the PBC to hold detention reviews every two years rather than annually for criminals who are detained beyond their statutory release date; and
- provide a victim of crime or a victim's family member who is denied the opportunity to attend a hearing to be able to follow it by other means the PBC deems appropriate.
The following two provisions will come into force on a date fixed by the Governor-in-Council:
- authorize the disclosure to victims of crime of the date and time, conditions and destination regarding an offenders conditional release as long as public safety is not impacted negatively; and
- specify that information pertaining to an offender's correctional plan, and progress on that plan may be disclosed to victims.
"Our Government strongly believes in putting forward legislation that addresses the needs of victims of crime. This Bill is another example of our Government's strong actions to ensure victims of crime have a strong voice in the justice system and is also in line with our commitment to fighting crime, protecting Canadians and holding offenders accountable."
– The Honourable Steven Blaney, Canada's Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
""Being a victim of a violent crime is a traumatic experience. The Fairness for the Victims of Violent Offenders Act will help victims of crime by making it easier for them to observe hearings and will expand the rights of victims to have access to information about the offender."
– MP David Sweet
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SOURCE Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada
For further information: Jeremy Laurin, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, 613-991-2924; Media Relations, Public Safety Canada, 613-991-0657