Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime

Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime

July 23, 2015 08:30 ET

Canada's Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime Remarks on the Coming Into Force of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 23, 2015) - Sue O'Sullivan, Canada's Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, today marked the coming-into-force of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights by commending the government on enacting this historic victim-centred legislation, while noting the importance of ongoing assessment and evaluation once the Bill has been implemented, in order to ensure the legislation is effective in meeting the needs of victims.

Quick Facts

  • The second section of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights comes into force today. This section of the Bill provides victims of crime with rights to information, protection, participation, and the right to seek restitution. It also provides victims the right to make a complaint if they believe that their rights have not been respected.
  • Since its inception in 2007, the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime (OFOVC) has encouraged the Government of Canada to enhance victims' rights, including a recommendation that Canada introduce comprehensive legislation to ensure that victims are informed, considered, protected and supported.
  • The Ombudsman participated in consultations on the Bill; taking part in the first round-table discussion, encouraging Canadians to share their views, providing 29 recommendations for how best to address the concerns of victims and enhance their rights, and appearing as a witness before both House and Senate committees.
  • Not all of the Ombudsman's recommendations were addressed in the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights, however the bill does include new measures for victims to request information about the offender, to participate more meaningfully in the criminal justice process, and to have their security and privacy considered. The Bill also provides that Parliament establish a committee to review the Victims Bill of Rights in five years' time.

Quotes

"The coming into force of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights is an important step for victims of crime in Canada. I congratulate the Government of Canada and thank all of the victims and victim advocates who have worked to advance the evolution of victims' rights in Canada."

- Sue O'Sullivan, Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime.

"Although the Bill takes a critical step forward by acknowledging the importance of including and considering victims, there is still important work to be done to ensure that the rights of victims are both respected and enforced. As the bill is implemented, the government will need to assess whether victims are able to access their new rights, their level of satisfaction with the Bill and whether it is making a difference."

- Sue O'Sullivan, Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime.

"The Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime will continue to work with key participants in the criminal justice system to help ensure that all victims are equally informed, considered, protected and supported."

- Sue O'Sullivan, Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime.

Additional links:

- Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime: http://www.victimsfirst.gc.ca/serv/vrc-dvc.html

- The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights Act: http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&DocId=6510370

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