Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

April 07, 2014 08:37 ET

Federal Government Launches Ninth Annual National Victims of Crime Awareness Week

Victims Week 2014 follows historic introduction of legislation to create the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 7, 2014) - Justice Canada

Today, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Peter MacKay and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Steven Blaney launched the ninth annual National Victims of Crime Awareness Week (Victims Week) by welcoming victims, victim advocates, victim-serving organizations, criminal justice system professionals and policy-makers to a Federal Symposium held in Ottawa, Ontario.

For the first time in the Symposium's existence, the opening remarks for the Federal Symposium, provided by Minister MacKay and Minister Blaney, were available over a live webcast to allow a greater number of Canadians the opportunity to hear how the federal government is listening and delivering on its commitment by taking action to address issues of importance to victims of crime. The live webcast also included a Moment of Reflection from Sheldon Kennedy, Board Member of the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre in Calgary, and a keynote address from Glen Canning, who became a victim advocate after the tragic death of his daughter, Rehtaeh Parsons, in 2013.

During their remarks, Minister MacKay and Minister Blaney discussed the rights proposed for victims of crime under the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights. The legislation to create the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights was introduced last week by the Federal Government. It would transform the criminal justice system by entrenching rights, at the federal level, for victims of crime - a first in Canadian history. An online version of the legislation can be found at

Quick Facts

  • Victims Week is held in April every year to raise awareness about issues facing victims of crime and the services, programs and laws in place to help victims and their families.
  • Through the Victims Fund, a grants and contributions program administered by the Department of Justice Canada, victim-serving organizations were provided with up to $10,000 in funding to host events during Victims Week. This year, more than 180 events and projects will be held right across the country, with support from the federal government, representing an investment of more than $1.2 million.
  • By introducing legislation to create a Canadian Victims Bill of Rights, the Federal Government is delivering on a commitment from the 2013 Speech from the Throne, a commitment that was reinforced in Budget 2014. The legislation is also in line with the Government's Plan for Safe Streets and Communities, which focuses on holding violent offenders accountable, enhancing the rights of victims, and increasing the efficiency of our justice system.
  • The Policy Centre for Victim Issues (PCVI) is the lead within the federal government for all work done for victims of crime. PCVI leads the Federal Victims Strategy, the objective of which is to give victims of crime a more effective voice in the criminal justice system. PCVI develops policy and criminal law reform, and provides information and resources to Canadians about the role of victims in the criminal justice system and related legislation.
  • The National Office for Victims (NOV) at Public Safety Canada is a central resource that offers information and referrals to victims of crime. NOV also provides input into federal policy and legislative initiatives, develops and distributes information products for victims and members of the criminal justice system, and supports the Correctional Service of Canada and the Parole Board of Canada in delivering services to victims of crime.


Protecting victims and providing them with a louder voice in our justice system is a key priority for our government. I am proud of the action we have taken in introducing the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights, which would legislate rights at the federal level for victims of crime for the first time in Canadian history. It's therefore fitting that theme of this year's Victims Week is Taking Action, as it truly recognizes that we all need to do our part to help those affected by crime. I want to personally extend a warm thank you to all of the organizations and people, both volunteers and professionals, who work hard on a daily basis to better meet the needs of victims of crime across the country and help make Canada a more just place to live, grow and raise our families.

Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

The community events taking place across the country during Victims Week demonstrate that when it comes to helping victims of crime and their families, we all need to do our part. Our Government has taken concrete action to ensure that the voices of victims of crime are heard. Through legislation we introduced last week to create the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights, victims would be given a more effective voice at every stage of the criminal justice process, from arrest to criminal trial, to the incarceration and conditional release of the offender that harmed them.

Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Related Products

- Backgrounder: National Victims of Crime Awareness Week 2014

- Backgrounder: Overview of Canadian Victims Bill of Rights

- Backgrounder: Right to information

- Backgrounder: Right to protection

- Backgrounder: Right to participation

- Backgrounder: Right to restitution

- Backgrounder: Victim Surcharge

Associated Links

- National Victims of Crime Awareness Week

- Department of Justice - Victims Fund

- Department of Justice - Policy Centre for Victim Issues

- Public Safety Canada - National Office for Victims

- News release: Introduction of Canadian Victims Bill of Rights

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Contact Information

  • Paloma Aguilar
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Justice

    Media Relations
    Department of Justice