ST. JOHN'S, April 25, 2017 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada supports programs and services that respond to the immediate and ongoing needs of victims and survivors of crime to help ensure a just, fair and compassionate justice system for all Canadians.
Today, the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and the Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General of Newfoundland and Labrador, announced funding of $3,255,700 over five years to enhance and support services to victims and survivors of crime, including victims of sexual assault, in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Ministry of Justice and Public Safety's Victim Services will use the funding to: cover the travel costs of victims who attend court proceedings; support a pilot program to provide free and independent legal advice to victims of sexual assault; maintain six positions that provide direct services to victims of crime; equip service providers with new technology so that they can be more accessible to victims; train service providers; and develop information resources for victims.
- The Ministry of Justice and Public Safety's Victim Services reports that:
- The Victims Services Program received over 6,800 referrals in fiscal year 2015-16.
- In 2015, 208 victims reported matters of sexual assault to the 45 RCMP detachments in Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Referrals to the Victim Service Program have increased since 2008 as a result of a mobile reporting system implemented by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and a memorandum of understanding with the RCMP.
- This funding is made available through the Department of Justice Canada's Victims Fund. In 2016-17, the Victims Fund made more than $21 million available to provincial and territorial governments and non-governmental organizations to increase awareness and knowledge of victim issues, legislation, and services available, as well as to develop and deliver programs, services, and assistance to meet gaps in services for victims of crime. To date, Justice has also announced Victims Fund agreements with the provinces of British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia and the Northwest Territories.
"A well-functioning justice system is one that serves all Canadians, protects the vulnerable, and makes our communities safer. Responding to the needs of victims and survivors of crime helps reduce the impact and consequences of crime. This funding will help provide services and programs to help ensure that all victims and survivors of crime, including victims of sexual assault, in Newfoundland and Labrador have access to the services and support they need."
The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
"This multi-year funding will enhance the services and promote healing for victims of crime in Newfoundland and Labrador. Every victim responds in different ways and no one approach or service will meet the needs of all. This funding will help ensure the justice system works for everyone, particularly victims who have been left behind."
The Honourable Andrew Parsons
Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General of Newfoundland and Labrador
"This multi-year funding will enhance the provincial Victim Services program to help ensure that victims of crime in Newfoundland and Labrador have access to the high-quality services they need to recover and heal, and to help service providers work more effectively with victims."
Member of Parliament for St. John's East
SOURCE Justice Canada, Department of
For further information: David Taylor, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Justice, 613-992-4621; Media Relations, Department of Justice Canada, 613-957-4207, firstname.lastname@example.org