Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

April 18, 2008 15:54 ET

The Government of Canada Continues to Support Victims of Crime

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 18, 2008) - Today, Lee Richardson, Member of Parliament (Calgary Centre), on behalf of the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, is pleased to announce funding for victims of crime in his community. The Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse (CCASA) received $5, 000, while the Calgary Police Service Victim Assistance Unit received $4, 700, to help commemorate the Third Annual National Victims of Crime Awareness Week.

"Our Government believes that we need to do a better job of addressing the needs of victims" said Lee Richardson. "This funding will provide local authorities the opportunity to reward and recognize volunteers, staff and community partners that assist victims of crime and to properly acknowledge the determined efforts of so many Calgarians."

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 funding from the federal government was used to host a recognition dinner for Unit staff, volunteers and community partners in honour of the 2008 National Victims of Crime Awareness Week," said Constable Cathy Barrett of the Calgary Police Service Victim Assistance Unit. "Hosting an event like this provides an opportunity for staff and volunteers to meet the people they work so closely with over the telephone and also to acknowledge all of the hard work that is done for and on behalf of the victims."

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 Canada
    Media Relations
    613-957-4207
    www.canada.justice.gc.ca