WHITEHORSE, YUKON--(Marketwired - Sep 18, 2013) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Central Nova, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today met with victims of crime and justice advocates in Whitehorse to discuss key priorities for the creation of a Canadian Victims Bill of Rights.
"This summer has afforded me an opportunity to speak directly with those who are personally or professionally involved in the criminal justice system - from coast to coast to coast," said Minister MacKay. "I thank all of those who have provided their invaluable contribution to the consultation process and shared their insights. Our Government will work hard toward developing legislation that will recognize and protect the rights of victims of crime."
This consultation follows the Government's commitment in February to entrench the rights of victims of crime by bringing forward legislation to implement a Canadian Victims Bill of Rights as a single law at the federal level. Views expressed by those at the Whitehorse consultation will add to information received through other consultations across the country and to the online public consultation being hosted on the Department of Justice website. The online consultation has been extended until September 27, 2013, and is available at http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/cj-jp/victims-victimes/vrights-droitsv. These consultations will ultimately contribute to enhancing victims' rights in Canada.
The development of a federal Victims Bill of Rights builds on the Government's record of achievements in giving victims a more effective voice in the criminal justice and corrections systems. These achievements include:
- Designating more than $120 million since 2006 to give victims a more effective voice through initiatives delivered by the Department of Justice Canada;
- Providing for $10.25 million for new or enhanced Child Advocacy Centres to address the needs of child and youth victims of crime;
- Creating the Federal Victims Strategy in 2007 and its permanent renewal in 2011;
- Establishing the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime;
- Enacting legislation to double the victims' surcharge and make it mandatory; and
- Eliminating the faint-hope clause, which allowed murderers to obtain early parole.
The Victims Bill of Rights consultations are part of the Government's Plan for Safe Streets and Communities, which is one of four priorities identified by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. This plan focuses on tackling crime, enhancing victims' rights, and ensuring a fair and efficient justice system.
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