NEW WESTMINSTER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 27, 2012) - The Government of Canada today announced funding of $50,000 to the BC Bereavement Helpline for a support group for survivors of homicide victims. The announcement was made by Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Q.C., M.P. for Delta-Richmond East and Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.
"Our Government believes that all Canadians deserve a justice system that responds to their concerns and to what is happening on our streets and in our communities," said Minister Nicholson. "As our Government pursues its agenda to protect Canadians and better serve victims, we will continue to work with organizations such as the BC Bereavement Helpline to ensure that victims have access to the support and services they need."
"Our Government places a high priority on helping victims of crime," said Ms. Findlay. "Through Economic Action Plan 2012, we are taking action to offer victims in British Columbia, and all over Canada, access to high-quality programs."
"This funding has significantly contributed to Vancouver's first homicide bereavement centre, giving survivors of homicide victims the opportunity to directly access peer support," said Christopher Ducharme, President of the BC Bereavement Helpline and Founder of BC Victims of Homicide. "Healing through Connection is the common thread of many stories and we aim to create a safe space for people to connect with others who have shared an experience of loss through homicide."
Funding is available through the Victims Fund, a grants and contributions program administered by the Department of Justice Canada. 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. The Government has allocated more than $90 million over the past six years for initiatives that benefit victims of crime, including funding for government programs.
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FEDERAL VICTIMS STRATEGY AND VICTIMS FUND
In 2007, the Government announced the Federal Victims Strategy and committed $52 million over four years to respond to the needs of victims of crime. In Budget 2011, the Government announced $26 million over two years in renewed funding for the Federal Victims Strategy. Most recently, in Economic Action Plan 2012, the Government committed $7 million over five years for additional funding for new or enhanced child advocacy centres and other victim-serving non-governmental organizations.
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 Policy Centre for Victim Issues at the Department of Justice works in close collaboration with federal colleagues 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 legal policy and criminal law reform, funds various programs for 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 funds 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 (NGO).
More information is available on the Department of Justice Canada's Web site.