Canada's Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime issues response to the Victims Bill of Rights
May 13, 2014 – Ottawa, ON – Sue O’Sullivan, Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime today held a press conference to release her response to the recently tabled Victims Bill of Rights.
In her response, the Ombudsman shares her view that the VBR marks a significant cultural shift in Canada’s legislative landscape towards a system that more fully considers and integrates victims in Canada’s criminal justice system, but cautions that the Bill could and should be strengthened to better meet the needs and concerns of victims of crime.
- Since opening its doors in 2007, “victims rights” has been one of the top five issues of concern that Canadians contact the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime (OFOVC) to discuss.
- The OFOVC has made dozens of recommendations to the Government on legislative and policy changes that would benefit victims of crime across Canada, including a recommendation to develop a comprehensive Victims’ Bill.
- As part of the Government’s nation-wide consultation on the creation of a Victims Bill of Rights, the Office drew on its engagement with victims and stakeholders to develop, submit and publish recommendations for the rights and amendments that should be included in any prospective legislation.
- Of the nearly 30 recommendations the Ombudsman made to the Government of Canada for inclusion in its Bill, only four have been fully addressed and another ten have been partially addressed.
“The introduction of a Victims Bill of Rights marks a significant cultural shift in Canada towards a system that recognizes the important role that victims have to play and that more fully considers and integrates victims into Canada’s criminal justice system,” said Ms. Sue O’Sullivan, Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime. “That being said, the Bill fails to fully address the breadth and depth of victims’ needs and concerns. As the Bill moves through the Parliamentary process, I will be pushing for further change to strengthen the Bill and I encourage all Canadians to do the same.”
- Ombudsman’s response to the Victims Bill of Rights
- OFOVC’s submission to the Government of Canada re: the creation of the Victims Bill of Rights
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Christina McDonald, Manager of Communications