First-ever Federal Ombudsman will give a voice to victims of crime
Reversing years of Liberal neglect toward the victims of crime, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day today announced the establishment of the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for the Victims of Crime and announced new funding for programs and services to support the victims of crime.
Today’s announcement is another example of real action on crime by Canada’s New Government. It stands in stark contrast to yesterday’s deathbed conversion on crime by Liberal leader Stéphane Dion.
The new Office of the Federal Ombudsman for the Victims of Crime will:
- Ensure the federal government meets its legislative and policy commitments;
- Promote access to existing government programs and services; and
- Identify and explore systemic and emerging victim issues.
The government will also help support the victims of crime as they go through the judicial process, to give them a greater opportunity to represent their interests. There will be enhancements to:
- First response service delivery, which is provided when an individual is victimized;
- Court-based services, which include giving individuals the opportunity to present victim impact statements, supporting children who have been victimized and other similar measures;
- Services for victims of offenders under federal jurisdiction, to assist them financially in travelling to National Parole Board hearings or to aid those who require support persons to accompany them. As well, new staff positions will be created to provide services to victims on a full-time basis;
- Assistance for those currently underserved by existing programs, including victims in the North, as well as Canadians victimized abroad, many of whom currently have little support.
In addition to supporting the victims of crime, Canada’s New Government will continue to pursue its tough on crime agenda in the House of Commons.It’s time for Stéphane Dion and his soft-on-crime Liberal MPs to start supporting victims of crime and stop blocking passage of the Conservative government’s tough on crime legislation.