Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

August 18, 2010 13:04 ET

Minister of Justice Meets With New Federal Victims Ombudsman

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 18, 2010) - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today met with Sue O'Sullivan, the new Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, and pledged to work with her on behalf of victims of crime. 

"The Government of Canada is committed to supporting victims of crime and to ensuring victims have a greater voice in the criminal justice system and more access to available services," said Minister Nicholson. "I know that Ms. O'Sullivan will serve as a strong voice for victims in Canada and I thank her for taking on this important role."

"Helping victims of crime has been my passion for years and I am delighted to have this opportunity to make a difference for victims of crime in Canada," said Ms. O'Sullivan. "Working together with the victims who contact us, other government departments and the organizations across Canada dedicated to helping victims, we will take action to ensure that the needs and concerns of victims are being heard and addressed." 

Ms. O'Sullivan began her duties as Ombudsman on August 16, 2010, and comes to the position following an extensive and accomplished career in the police service. 

The establishment of the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime was part of the $52-million package announced in 2007 to better meet the needs of victims of crime, including:

  • the Victims Fund, which provides resources for victims of crime, support provincial and territorial services, and non-governmental organizations;

  • support for Canadians victimized abroad;

  • National Parole Board hearings;

  • testimonial aids to assist child victims and witnesses with videoconferencing for testimony; and

  • support for underserved victims including northern and Aboriginal victims.

In addition, Budget 2010 provided additional funding of $6.6 million over two years. 

The Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime operates at arm's length from the government, helping victims to address their needs, promoting their interests and making recommendations to the federal government on issues that impact victims. The provinces and territories continue to be the primary providers of victim services. 

For more information on the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, please visit

(Version française disponible)

Backgrounder:  Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime

The Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime was established in 2007 to help victims of crime and their families; both directly, by answering questions and addressing complaints, and indirectly, by promoting positive systemic change. The Office was created as part of the Government of Canada's ongoing commitment to victims of crime. 

The mandate of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime relates exclusively to matters of federal responsibility. The Office:

  • helps victims learn about, and access, federal programs and services;

  • addresses complaints made by victims about federal government departments, agencies, laws or policies;

  • refers victims to programs and services in their city or province;

  • identifies issues and makes recommendations to the federal government on how to enhance its policies and laws to meet victims' needs;

  • educates policy-makers about the needs and concerns of victims; and

  • promotes the principles set out in the Canadian Statement of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime with decision- and policy-makers.

The Office offers direct assistance to victims, victim service organizations, and the general public through its toll-free, bilingual telephone lines and by responding to e-mails and letters. 

The Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime may examine relevant issues and make recommendations to the federal government:

  • at his or her discretion; or

  • when requested by a victim, victim service organization or advocate regarding other matters within federal responsibility.

The Ministers of Justice or Public Safety may compel the Ombudsman to examine a particular issue. Although the Ombudsman's recommendations are not binding, the government takes the recommendations under advisement. The Ombudsman does not encroach on the jurisdiction of the provinces, but rather ensures the federal government fulfills its commitments and responsibilities to victims of crime.

The Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime is appointed by the Governor in Council for a three-year term.

Biography of Sue O'Sullivan, B.A., O.O.M

Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime

Sue O'Sullivan has worked with and advocated for victims of crime since her career in policing began in May, 1981. Throughout her career she has served in a variety of areas such as: Patrol, Criminal Investigative Services and Operations Support. For the past four years, Sue has served as Deputy Chief of Police in the Ottawa Police Service. 

Throughout her career, Sue has continually advocated to increase the efficiency of services to victims, recently working with stakeholders from the victim services community representing all three levels of government to develop the "Coordinated Victim Assistance Program."

Sue is a dynamic member of the community, participating on the Council for Advancement of Big Sisters Big Brother s Ottawa, the Board of the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre, Success by Six and the Children's Wish Foundation Ottawa Chapter. Sue is the recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Award (Public Sector Award) and the House of Commons Ottawa-Centre Community Leadership Award. In 2006, her Excellency the Governor General of Canada appointed her an Officer of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces. 

Sue holds a B.A. in Law and Sociology with a subtitle in Criminology and Corrections from Carleton University and is a graduate of the Police Leadership Program (OACP and the University of Toronto). Sue is the proud mother of two children, Katie and Jonathan. She is proficient in French.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Justice
    Pamela Stephens
    Press Secretary
    Department of Justice Canada
    Media Relations