Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

May 01, 2009 14:50 ET

Government of Canada Provides Funding to Assist Victims of Crime

VILLAGE OF KINUSO, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - May 1, 2009) - Brent Rathgeber, M.P. for Edmonton-St. Albert, on behalf of the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced federal support for underserved victims of crime in Aboriginal communities in Northern Alberta.

"During this National Victims of Crime Awareness Week, our Government reiterates its commitment to ensuring victims of crime have access to the services they need," said Mr. Rathgeber. "By working with our community partners and Alberta Solicitor General and Public Security, we are helping provide support for victims in Aboriginal communities, many of whom may be unaware of victim services and the help that is available."

The federal government is providing $300,000 over three years to help enhance its services to underserved victims of crime in the communities served by the St. Paul and Area Victim Services Society and Lesser Slave Lake Indian Regional Council Victim Services. By hiring Aboriginal outreach specialists, area Victim Service Units (VSUs) will be better able to provide timely information, support, and referrals to victims of crime.

"These funds support the work being carried out by Alberta and the St. Paul and Lesser Slave Lake Indian Regional Council Victim Service Units to reach vulnerable victims in remote and Aboriginal communities," said the Honourable Fred Lindsay, Alberta Solicitor General and Minister of Public Security. "It is important that all levels of government continue to work together to ensure that victims of crime have a greater voice and more access to available services."

The funding is being provided through the Victims Fund, which is administered by the Department of Justice Canada. The hiring of Aboriginal outreach specialists contributes to the goals of the Victims Fund by providing direct services to underserved victims of crime, enhancing volunteer recruitment efforts in communities identified to have populations of underserved victims, and improving the cultural relevance of services available to underserved Aboriginal victims.

For more information on the Victims Fund:

For more information on the Victims Service of Alberta:

(Version francaise disponible)

BACKGROUNDER: The Victims Fund

The Government of Canada has committed $52 million for a package ($13 million per year over four years starting April 1, 2007) of programs, services and funding to help the federal government and the provinces and territories respond to a variety of needs facing victims of crime across the continuum of the justice and federal corrections systems.

Addressing the needs of victims of crime in Canada is a shared responsibility between federal, provincial, and territorial governments. For the most part, delivery of victim services is undertaken by the provinces and territories as they have responsibility for the administration of justice. A large portion of the new monies is available to the provinces and territories through grants and contributions.

Overview of funding

In fulfilling its commitment to victims of crime, the Government of Canada provides funding to improve the experience of victims in the criminal justice system and ensure support and services are available when needed. The Victims Fund, co-managed by the Policy Centre for Victim Issues and Programs Branch at the Department of Justice Canada, supports community groups, non-governmental organizations, provincial and territorial governments, and in certain cases, victims of crime.

Funding Envelopes

There are three components of the Victims Fund: Provincial and Territorial Implementation; Projects and Activities; and Financial Assistance

Provincial and Territorial Implementation

The provinces and territories, who are responsible for delivering the majority of victim services, are eligible for funding to encourage implementation of federal and provincial/territorial legislation for victims of crime. This includes support for: improving victim service worker capacity to meet gaps in services to victims; providing financial assistance to victims to attend sentencing hearings to present a victim impact statement; and enhancing or expanding services to currently underserved victims.

Projects and Activities

Governmental and non-governmental organizations are eligible to receive funding for projects and activities that encourage the development of new approaches, promote access to justice for victims of crime, improve the capacity of victims service providers, establish referral networks and increase awareness of services available. Under the Projects and Activities component, funding is also made available to support community based activities commemorating National Victims of Crime Awareness Week.

Financial Assistance

Under the Victims Fund, financial assistance is made available to victims of crime under specific circumstances:

- limited emergency financial assistance to Canadian victims or family members in exceptional circumstances where no other source of funding is available.

- limited financial assistance to Canadians who are victims of serious violent crime abroad and may incur unanticipated or exceptional expenses resulting from their victimization where no other source of funding is available.

- to defray the travel costs of registered victims and a support person who wish to attend National Parole Board hearings of offenders under federal supervision who harmed them.

For more information on the Victims Fund:

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Justice
    Darren Eke
    Press Secretary
    Department of Justice
    Media Relations