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Bryan says let's not forget about the victims

Monday, April 07, 2014   by: SooToday.com Staff

NEWS RELEASE

BRYAN HAYES, SAULT MP

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Victims Week follows historic introduction of legislation to create a Canadian Victims Bill of Rights

OTTAWA - Today, Bryan Hayes, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie, reminds Saultites that Victims Week 2014 is being held across Canada from April 6 to 12 with the theme “Taking Action”.

Victims Week raises awareness about issues facing victims of crime and the services, programs and laws in place to help victims and their families.

Last week, the Federal Government took action to give victims a more effective voice in the criminal justice system by introducing legislation to create a Canadian Victims Bill of Rights.

The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights would transform the criminal justice system by creating, at the federal level, clear rights for victims of crime – a first in Canadian history.

An online version of the legislation can be found at www.parl.gc.ca.

During consultations held by the Federal Government over the past year, many victims of crime shared stories of their interactions with the criminal justice system.

Many participants expressed a desire for victims of crime to be kept better informed and involved at every stage of the justice process, and called for an increased understanding of the needs of victims.

“Our Government is proud to be rebalancing the scales of Canadian justice to ensure that innocent victims of crime have clear rights in our system,” said MP Hayes. “The new legislation introduced in Parliament aims to ensure that victims are at the heart of our judicial system and that they have the right to information, to protection, to participation and to restitution.”

Our Government is delivering on its commitment in the 2013 Speech from the Throne to introduce a Canadian Victims Bill of Rights, a commitment reiterated in Budget 2014.

The legislation is part of our Government’s Plan for Safe Streets and Communities, which focuses on holding violent offenders accountable, enhancing the rights of victims, and increasing the efficiency of our justice system.

Last week Prime Minister Harper assured Canadians that, “our Government wants victims of crime across this country to know that we have listened to their concerns and that we are squarely on their side. Victims will have enforceable rights in Canada’s criminal justice system, will be treated with the respect and fairness that they deserve, and will have a stronger voice.”

The legislation would create the following statutory rights for victims of crime:

  • Right to information: Victims would have the right to general information about the criminal justice system and available victim services and programs, as well as specific information about the progress of the case, including information relating to the investigation, prosecution and sentencing of the person who harmed them.
  • Right to protection: Victims would have the right to have their security and privacy considered at all stages of the criminal justice process, to have reasonable and necessary measures to protect them from intimidation and retaliation, and to request their identity be protected from public disclosure.
  • Right to participation: Victims would have a right to convey their views about decisions to be made by criminal justice professionals and have them considered at various stages of the criminal justice process, and to present a victim impact statement.
  • Right to restitution: Victims would have the right to have the court consider making a restitution order for all offences for which there are easy-to-calculate financial losses.

The Government will provide dedicated funding to support the implementation of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights through existing resources as well as the allocation of new federal resources.

Quick Facts

  • A study released in 2011 by the Department of Justice Canada found that the total cost of crime is an estimated $99.6 billion a year – 83 per cent of which is borne by victims.
  • According to Statistics Canada, nearly 2 million criminal incidents were reported to Canadian police services in 2012.
  • All provinces and territories have legislation for victims of crime and currently manage successful victims’ services programs in their own jurisdictions.

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Comments
10
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Brietsy 4/7/2014 11:47:25 AM Report

Let's hear it for the victims-> let's not forget about the victims? I thought titles were included in the press releases
superior87 4/7/2014 11:52:47 AM Report

Mention victims = easy political points.

But look into the Conservative governments treatment of veteran soldiers.
thera 4/7/2014 12:02:01 PM Report

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
Yup, Rick Mercer sums it up pretty well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R79U0PGpxDM
Gater 4/7/2014 12:41:27 PM Report

Yes your right. The treatment of soldiers /veterans by this conservative gov is absolutely brutal..
Brietsy 4/7/2014 1:20:10 PM Report

That may be true, heck, it is true, but this has nothing to do with it. this is about putting some rights back into the hands of people who have been wronged by criminals. If we focus completely on one issue, we will miss everythig else. I applaud this move. Not so sure about the spousal testifying part, but this part of it, is a move for the better
Norm 4/7/2014 2:11:12 PM Report

Get tough on criminals is what we want to hear and what the Tories promised. Bryan needs to stand up and
voice this in Ottawa, or stand to be ousted in the next election.
superior87 4/7/2014 2:46:04 PM Report

It is relevant to this story because veterans are victims too, just in a different way.
sooperman 4/7/2014 4:22:45 PM Report

As a Canadian citizen we are all victims to crime and theft from our own gov't...nice to have a wk a yr to reflect
mosquitos 4/7/2014 5:02:21 PM Report

Good news for victims of crime, one must consider what it would be like to be victimized. If you are going to add veterans, what about all the injured workers being victimized by WSIB with NO accountability.
Me Myself an I 4/7/2014 5:40:39 PM Report

They have been in power for 7+ years, have been promising this for longer....

Must be an election on the horizon
Comments
10
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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