Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

April 18, 2008 15:53 ET

The Government of Canada Continues to Support Victims of Crime

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 18, 2008) - Today, Laurie Hawn, Member of Parliament (Edmonton Centre), on behalf of the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, is pleased to announce that Mediation and Restorative Justice Centre - Edmonton received $5, 000 to help commemorate the Third Annual National Victims of Crime Awareness Week.

"Whether it's a stolen car, gun crime, or a crippling identity theft, we are all vulnerable to crime. In this sense, victims' rights are everyone's rights," stated Mr. Hawn. "Victims want offenders held accountable for their crimes. They want our Government to honour their rights, protect their safety, and help them rebuild their lives and I'm happy to say that we finally have a federal government that is taking victims' rights seriously."

The Third Annual National Victims of Crime Awareness Week takes place from April 13 to 19. During the week, victims services in communities across Canada organize events to commemorate coming together to support victims of crime. Many of these events are made possible by Victims Fund grants, administered by the Department of Justice Canada. Up to $5,000 per project was provided through the Victims Fund to those projects that advance the goals of the Week.

"The Mediation & Restorative Justice Centre will be hosting the premiering of 'An Illustration of Restorative Justice' that is designed to assist victims and professionals to gain a better understanding of the Restorative Justice Dialogue Process," said Susan Logan, Executive Director, Mediation and Restorative Justice Centre. "This event is made possible by a contribution from the Department of Justice Canada and we are proud to work together to raise awareness of victim issues during National Victims of Crime Awareness Week."

In April 2007, this Government committed $52 million over four years to increase the availability of services for victims of crime. That money continues to expand the resources available to victims who choose to attend parole hearings, who experience crime while abroad, and who live in northern communities. Furthermore, the appointment last year of the first Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime also fulfilled the Government's long-standing commitment to better meet the needs of victims of crime in matters of federal jurisdiction.

It is also important to prevent other people from becoming victims. This is why for the last two years this Government has been getting things done for Canadians:

- As of May 1, 2008, our children will be better protected from sexual predators and those of commit a serious crime with a gun will face tougher sentences and bail conditions; and

- As of July 2, 2008, Canadian society will be better protected from dangerous offenders, and alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers will face tougher consequences.

In addition to tackling violent crime and in keeping with its commitment to make Canadian communities safer, the Government of Canada has also:

- Introduced legislation to tackle property theft, including the serious crime of auto theft;

- Passed legislation to increase penalties for those convicted of street racing;

- Passed legislation to end conditional sentences (house arrest) for serious personal injury and violent offences, including sexual assault;

- Introduced a National Anti-Drug Strategy, including legislation that would provide mandatory jail time for serious drug crimes;

- Introduced legislation to strengthen the Youth Criminal Justice Act; and announced a comprehensive review of this Act in 2008;

- Introduced legislation to protect Canadians against identity theft; and

- Invested in crime prevention community projects across Canada that target youth.

Further information can be found on the following websites:

National Victims of Crime Awareness Week
www.victimsweek.gc.ca

Policy Centre for Victim Issues at the Department of Justice Canada: http://www.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/voc/index.html

National Office for Victims of Crime at the Department of Public Safety: http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Justice
    Darren Eke
    Press Secretary
    613-992-4621
    or
    Department of Justice
    Media Relations
    613-957-4207
    www.canada.justice.gc.ca