Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

September 05, 2013 14:19 ET

Minister of Justice Participates in Ottawa Consultation to Discuss Victims Bill of Rights

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 5, 2013) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Central Nova, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today met with victims of crime and justice advocates in Ottawa to discuss key priorities for the creation of a Canadian Victims Bill of Rights

"Our Government is standing up for victims of crime, and has committed to recognizing and protecting their rights," said Minister MacKay. "We understand that more must be done to respond to the needs of victims who may feel overwhelmed when navigating the intricacies of our justice system. The scales of justice must be rebalanced."

This consultation follows the Government's commitment in February to entrench the rights of victims of crime by bringing forward legislation to implement a Canadian Victims Bill of Rights as a single law at the federal level. Views expressed by those at the Ottawa consultation will add to information provided through other cross-country consultations and to the online public consultation being hosted on the Department of Justice website. The online consultation has been extended until September 27, 2013, and is available at http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/cj-jp/victims-victimes/vrights-droitsv/. These consultations will ultimately contribute to enhancing victims' rights in Canada.

The development of a Victims Bill of Rights builds on the Government's record of achievements in giving victims a more effective voice in the criminal justice and corrections systems. These achievements include:

  • Designating more than $120 million since 2006 to give victims a more effective voice through initiatives delivered by the Department of Justice Canada;

  • Providing for $10.25 million for new or enhanced Child Advocacy Centres to address the needs of child and youth victims of crime;

  • Creating the Federal Victims Strategy in 2007 and its permanent renewal in 2011;

  • Establishing the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime;

  • Introducing legislation to double the victims' surcharge and make it mandatory; and

  • Eliminating the faint-hope clause, which allowed murderers to obtain early parole.

The Victims Bill of Rights consultations are part of the Government's Plan for Safe Streets and Communities, which is one of four priorities identified by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. This Plan focuses on tackling crime, enhancing victims' rights, and ensuring a fair and efficient justice system.

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Contact Information

  • Sean Phelan
    Office of the Minister of Justice
    613-992-4621

    Media Relations
    Department of Justice
    613-957-4207