ST JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwire - Aug. 14, 2012) - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and the Honourable Felix Collins, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Newfoundland and Labrador, today announced that victims of crime in Newfoundland and Labrador will benefit from a number of projects designed to help them as they work through the healing process. The Government of Canada will provide more than $2.4 million in funding to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for these projects.
"Our Government is committed to standing up for victims of crime by holding perpetrators accountable while supporting victims in the criminal justice and corrections systems," said Minister Nicholson. "This funding is a substantial investment for victims of crime in Newfoundland and Labrador." The funding will be directed to projects serving victims of crime in Newfoundland and Labrador, including:
- Enhanced services for rural and remote victims of crime;
- Financial assistance for victims to attend sentencing hearings to present their victim impact statement;
- Financial assistance to access victim programs;
- New public awareness initiatives; and,
- The purchase of video-conferencing equipment for use in court by vulnerable victims.
"This funding allows us to deliver programming that can better respond to the individual needs of victims who have suffered as a result of a crime," said Minister Collins. "Providing the necessary supports for victims of crime is of utmost importance so that they can have meaningful participation in the criminal justice process and start on the path of healing."
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has allocated almost $1.3 million in this fiscal year for victim services. For the last six years, the provincial government has contributed $8.8 million to this programming area.
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.
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FEDERAL VICTIMS STRATEGY AND VICTIMS FUND
Since 2007, when the Government announced 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 federal Government 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 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.
More information is available on the Department of Justice Canada's website.