Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

April 10, 2015 15:40 ET

Federal Government Provides Funding for Victim Services Toronto

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 10, 2015) - Today, Justice Minister Peter MacKay and Parliamentary Secretary Bob Dechert announced funding of $300,000 for Victim Services Toronto.

The funding will be used to support the Family Access Services Toronto (F.A.S.T. Access) project, which will be led by Victim Services Toronto and the Toronto Police Service and be delivered in partnership with local community organizations. The project is the second phase of a pilot project, the Scarborough Family Justice Initiative, which was completed on October 31, 2014. The Scarborough Family Justice Initiative provided a coordinated response to victims of family violence by offering a case coordinator who helped ensure that victims received timely access to information about the criminal justice process and to social services offered by local organizations.

This new project will improve on this model by having the case coordinator work as part of a mobile multi-disciplinary team that is able to respond to victims in locations that are most suitable, safe, accessible and comfortable for them. By introducing a mobile team, the project will help remove challenges and barriers often faced by victims, including challenges related to travelling long distances to access important services. The project will provide services to those living in the Toronto neighbourhood of Rexdale.

Quick Facts

  • Victim Services Toronto provides immediate crisis response, intervention and prevention services that are responsive to the needs of individuals, families and communities affected by crime and sudden tragedies. The organization's objective is to help clients and their families stay safe and lead productive, healthy lives free from violence.
  • Funding will be provided to Victim Services Toronto as follows:
    • 2015-16: $150,000
    • 2016-17: $150,000
  • The funding is being provided through the Department of Justice Canada's Victims Fund and the Family Violence component of the Department's Justice Partnership and Innovation Program.
  • The Victims Fund provides grants and contributions to support projects and activities that:
    • Encourage the development of new services and tools;
    • Meet the special needs of particular victims due to the unique nature of their victimization and other characteristics;
    • Promote access to justice;
    • Improve the capacity of service providers;
    • Foster the establishment of referral networks; or
    • Increase awareness of services available to victims of crime and their families.
  • The Family Violence component of the Justice Partnership and Innovation Program provides funding to organizations that want to conduct pilot projects to develop, test and assess models, strategies and tools to improve the justice system's response to family violence.

Quotes

"Our Government is committed to ensuring that all Canadians feel safe-be it in their communities or in their homes. Domestic violence can have a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities. I am pleased that this funding will help Victim Services Toronto, the Toronto Police Service and their partners provide a quick, coordinated and mobile response to situations of domestic violence. By providing services in safe and comfortable locations, this new response system will help victims overcome some of the common challenges they face accessing the different types of services and support they need in these difficult and daunting situations."

Peter MacKay

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

"Family violence in any form is unacceptable, but in its most severe forms it can lead to serious injury - even death. Victims of crime are a priority for the Government of Canada, so I am proud that we are supporting a program that offers victims of family violence real help, guiding them through a difficult time in their lives and working to keep them safe.

Bob Dechert

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

"Victim Services Toronto, project steering committee members and partners are very grateful to the Department of Justice Canada for their two-year financial commitment of Family Access Services Toronto (F.A.S.T.). F.A.S.T. is a mobile, collaborative and coordinated response that bridges justice and social service sectors serving victims of domestic violence and their children in Rexdale, Toronto. Building on the efficacy of the Scarborough Family Justice Initiative, a two-year pilot project funded by the Department of Justice Canada, F.A.S.T.'s overarching goal is to reduce violence against women and create system efficiencies."

Bobbie McMurrich

Victim Services Toronto, Director of Programs

Related Documents:

  • Backgrounder: Federal Victims Strategy and Victims Fund

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Backgrounder

Federal Victims Strategy and Victims Fund

The Federal Victims Strategy brings together federal efforts to give victims a more effective voice in the criminal justice system. It was created in 2007 and made permanent in 2011. The Department of Justice Canada works in close collaboration with other federal institutions as well as with victims, victims' advocates, provincial and territorial governments, victim services, law enforcement, and others involved in the criminal justice system to implement the Federal Victims Strategy. As lead of the Federal Victim Strategy, the Policy Centre for Victim Issues at the Department of Justice develops policy and criminal law reform, funds various programs to meet the needs of victims of crime, explores best practices to address victims' needs, and raises awareness about victims of crime and their role in the criminal justice system.

Within the Federal Victims Strategy, the Victims Fund is a grants and contributions program administered by the Department of Justice. More than $12 million is available each year to provinces, territories and non-governmental organizations whose projects, activities and operations support the objectives of the Federal Victims Strategy.

The Victims Fund provides funding to projects and activities that:

  • Enhance victim assistance programs across Canada;
  • Promote access to justice and participation in the justice system and the development of laws, policies, and programs;
  • Promote the implementation of principles, guidelines, and laws designed to address the needs of victims of crime in the criminal justice system;
  • Contribute to increased knowledge and awareness of the impact of victimization, the needs of victims of crime, available services, assistance and programs, and legislation; and
  • Promote, encourage and/or enhance governmental and non-governmental organizations' involvement in the identification of victims' needs and gaps in services, as well as in the development and delivery of programs, services and assistance to victims, including capacity building within non-governmental organizations.

Since 2006, the Government of Canada has allocated more than $158 million to give victims a more effective voice in the criminal justice system through initiatives delivered by the Department of Justice Canada. This amount includes $13.15 million for new or enhanced Child Advocacy Centres (CACs) and Child and Youth Advocacy Centres (CYACs). CAC/CYAC projects have been funded in more than 20 cities or municipalities across Canada. CAC/CYACs adopt a child-focused, seamless, coordinated and collaborative approach to addressing the needs of child and youth victims who have experienced abuse or witnessed violence, and provide services to their families.

More information is available on the Department of Justice Canada's website.

Contact Information

  • Clarissa Lamb
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Justice
    613-992-4621

    Media Relations Office
    Department of Justice
    613-957-4207