WHITEHORSE, YUKON--(Marketwire - Jan. 19, 2013) - Today, the Government of Canada announced it has allocated more than $600,000 in program funding to help victims of crime in Yukon. The announcement was made by the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, on behalf of the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. Minister Toews was joined by the Honourable Mike Nixon, Minister of Justice for Yukon; and Ryan Leef, M.P. for Yukon.
"Our Government is committed to helping victims of crime. Today, we are improving access to the services and programs victims need while they navigate the criminal justice system," said Minister Toews. "This investment is substantial; it will help Yukon respond to the unique needs of victims of crime who live in the territory."
"This federal funding represents a significant augmentation of the $1.5 million in territorial funding already confirmed for the implementation of our Victims of Crime Strategy and shows our continuing commitment to victims of crime," said Minister Nixon. "The funding will provide practical support for victims of crime, enhance services in rural Yukon, coordinate our response to child victims and witnesses and increase Victim Services' capacity to carry out its new mandate under the Victims of Crime Act."
"Building connections with the people and community partners in rural areas is always a challenge," said Mr. Leef. "This funding will allow the territory's victim service providers to reach out to those rural communities most in need."
Through its Victims Fund, the Department of Justice has made more than $600,000 available to the territory to improve programs and services to residents of Yukon who have been victims of crime. The funding will be used by Yukon to:
- enhance services for victims of crime, particularly victims in rural communities;
- develop policy and research capacity to enhance responses to victims of crime;
- deliver a Victims of Crime Emergency Fund; and
- support the development of collaborative services for child and youth victims and witnesses of crime.
The Government of Canada has allocated more than $90 million over the past six years for initiatives that benefit victims of crime. Funds are available to provinces, territories and non-governmental organizations for programs and services that give victims of crime a more effective voice in the criminal justice system. Further, Economic Action Plan 2012 committed an additional $5 million over five years for new or enhanced Child Advocacy Centres, bringing the total Government of Canada commitment to Child Advocacy Centres to $10.25 million.
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Backgrounder: Federal Victims Strategy and Victims Fund
Since 2007, when the Government introduced the Federal Victims Strategy, more than $90 million has been committed to respond to the needs of victims of crime. Most recently, in Economic Action Plan 2012, the Government committed an additional $5 million over five years for new or enhanced Child Advocacy Centres, bringing the total Government of Canada commitment to Child Advocacy Centres to $10.25 million.
The objective of the Strategy, which is led by the Department of Justice Canada, is to give victims a more effective voice in the criminal justice system. The Department of Justice works in close collaboration with other federal institutions, as well as victims, victim advocates, provincial and territorial governments, service providers and others involved in the criminal justice system. The Department of Justice develops policy and criminal law reform, funds various programs to meet the needs of victims of crime, and shares information about issues of importance to victims of crime.
Within the Federal Victim Strategy, the Victims Fund is a grants and contributions program administered by the Department of Justice. Funds are available each year to fund 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 law, policies, and programs;
- promote the implementation of principles, guidelines, and laws designed to address the needs of victims of crime and articulate their role 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 victim needs and gaps in services and in the development and delivery of programs, services and assistance to victims, including capacity building within non-governmental organizations.
More information is available on the Department of Justice Canada's website.