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Services by province/territory

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Yukon

Resources

Legislation

The Crime Prevention and Victim Services Trust Act of 1996 provides for a collection of victim surcharges on all offences. The Crime Prevention and Victim Services Trust Fund awards money for projects designed to: provide services and information to support victims of offences; help reduce the incidence of crime; address the root cause of criminal behaviour; prevent violence against women and children; and publicize information about crime prevention and how people can protect themselves from becoming victims.

Statutes of Yukon 2010: Victims of Crime Act, Chapter 7

Yukon Regulations

Services

Victim Services of Yukon administers the Family Violence Prevention Act and works closely with the Crown and the RCMP to offer support to victims involved with the criminal justice system. The main office is located in Whitehorse with satellite offices in Dawson City and Watson Lake.

Compensation

Nil

Northwest Territories

Resources

Legislation

Northwest Territories (NWT) utilizes the Victims of Crime Act to administer Victim Services across the Territories. The Victims Assistance Fund was established to collect victim surcharges of up to 20% of a fine penalty or $25.00 of a non-fine penalty and utilizes these funds to assist victim-related projects. The Territorial government also receives funding through grants from the Department of Justice Canada for specific projects. Funding for ongoing community based victim services programs are provided through general revenues.

Services

The Government of the NWT Department of Justice provides contribution funding to ongoing, community-based victim service programs, which then provide direct services to victims including information, support, practical assistance, court-orientation/accompaniment and referrals. A formalized Victim Impact Statement Program provides guidance to victims on the completion of a Victim Impact Statement. Crown Witness Coordinators, employed by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, also provide victims/witnesses with assistance throughout the court process.

Compensation

Nil

Nunavut

Resources

Legislation

Nunavut has a Victims of Crime Act, which allocates surcharges not to exceed 20% of a fine penalty or $25.00 for a non-fine surcharge to the Victim Assistance Fund. The Government of Nunavut has also allocated monies for victim service workers in some regions of Nunavut.

Services

Through the Office of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, Crown Witness Coordinators travel the territory to work with and maintain contact with victims or witnesses throughout the court process.

Community-based organizations provide direct services including information, support, practical assistance, court orientation and accompaniment and referrals. These organizations receive contribution funding through the Government of Nunavut Department of Justice, Community Justice Division.

Compensation

Nil

British Columbia

Resources

Legislation

British Columbia utilizes the Victims of Crime Act of 1996 to maintain a Victims Surcharge Special Account that holds the revenue gained from the 15% provincial surcharge, as well as revenue gained from federal surcharges.

British Columbia's victims' service programs are funded through the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General's annual budget, as well as the Victim Surcharge Special Account. Programs are eligible for funding based on a population-based formula: communities with an authorized police strength of four or more are eligible for a police-based program and communities of 20,000 or more are eligible for a community-based program.

Services

British Columbia funds over 150 victim service programs located in police departments and community agencies throughout the province. These programs provide information about the justice system, practical help, emotional support, court orientation and referrals to other services. Police-based programs serve all types of victims and also assist police in situations where there are multiple injuries or deaths. Community-based programs serve victims of family and sexual violence and include programs for ethno-specific and diverse communities and programs for Aboriginal peoples. The Victim Safety Unit, operated directly by Victim Services and Crime Prevention Division, promotes victim safety by notifying registered victims of crime and civil restraining order protected parties about the release of offenders from custody, seven days a week.

Compensation

The Crime Victim Assistance Program is funded through the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General's budget and is administered directly by Victim Services and Crime Prevention Division.

Victims, immediate family members and certain witnesses may be eligible for benefits under the Crime Victim Assistance Act. Benefits include, but are not limited to, medical and/or dental expenses, prescription drug expenses, counselling services, repair/replacement of personal property, income support and crime scene cleaning. There is no global cap on benefits awarded per claimant although some benefits have maximum award levels and conditions that are set out in the Crime Victim Assistance (General) Regulation and the Crime Victim Assistance (Income Support and Vocational Services or Expenses Benefits) Regulation.

Alberta

Resources

Legislation

The Alberta Victims of Crime Act, proclaimed in 1997, established the authority to collect surcharges on provincial statute offences, defined principles respecting the treatment of victims, provides victims with rights to obtain information, and introduced financial benefits for victims. Under the Act, surcharges on federal offences already being collected and provincial fine surcharge revenue collected are deposited into a fund, which is used to support two primary programs: the Financial Benefits Program and a Grants Program.

Services

Since proclamation of the Victims Programs Assistance Act in 1991 and the Victims of Crime Act in 1997, victim assistance programs have expanded throughout the province. With the support of local communities, police services and Alberta Solicitor General and Public Security, over 100 victim services units have been established to provide information, assistance and courtroom support to victims during the criminal justice process.

Compensation

Alberta does not provide traditional compensation. Subject to the Victims of Crime Act the Director, through the Financial Benefits Program, recognizes or acknowledges victims who have suffered physical or emotional injury as a direct result of a violent crime in Alberta. The program provides direct assistance with a one-time financial benefit based on the severity of the victim's injuries, rather than awarding for losses or costs incurred. The benefit amount is set in the regulation to the Act. The death benefit is $12,500 per deceased victim. Injury awards range from $500 to $110,000.

Saskatchewan

Resources

Legislation

Saskatchewan's Victims of Crime Act provides for the existence of the Victims Fund, which collects federal and provincial surcharges. The Victims Fund provides funding for the majority of victim services in Saskatchewan.

Services

Saskatchewan has established a network of police-based Victim Services Programs, which serve approximately 83% of the population. These programs provide information, support and assistance to victims of crime and traumatic events, and they include specialized Aboriginal Resource Officers and programs funded primarily for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Saskatchewan also provides Victim Witness programs through crown prosecutor offices, Victims Compensation Program and the Restitution Program. Support is also provided for several specialized victim services programs, as well as research and education. There are also a wide variety of Aboriginal initiatives focused on family violence, victims' initiatives in northern communities, and Urban Aboriginal Crime Prevention.

Compensation

http://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/justice-crime-and-the-law/victims-of-crime-and-abuse/compensation-for-victims-of-crime


Manitoba

Resources

Legislation

The Government of Manitoba proclaimed the Victims' Bill of Rights in 2001. With this proclamation, a fund was created to collect the 15% victim surcharge added to all provincial statute fines, including highway traffic offences.

Services

The Manitoba Justice Victim Services Branch is part of the Criminal Justice Division and provides a full range of services across the province to child and domestic violence victims, and victims of the most serious crimes. Crime Victim Services Workers throughout Manitoba guide victims of crime through the complexities of the criminal justice system by advising them of their rights and responsibilities and offering support while the charge proceeds through the system.

Manitoba supports a number of programs, including:

  • The Domestic Violence Support Service, which offers assistance, support and information to victims of domestic violence. The program is also responsible for the coordination of the Victims 1st Cell Phone Program, which provides an added level of protection to people who are involved in high-risk relationships or are at risk of being stalked.
  • The Domestic Violence Intervention Unit, which offers support to families who receive police services for domestic violence-related incidents that occur in Winnipeg, but that do not result in charges or arrests.
  • The Child Victim Support Service, which deals with cases involving children, youth, and adult survivors of abuse.
  • The Victims' Rights Support Service that provides assistance in cases involving victims of serious crimes.
  • Manitoba's Victim/Witness Assistance Program, which provides support services to crime victims and those subpoenaed as Crown witnesses in court. Crime Victim Service Workers also provide guidance in the Manitoba Victim Impact Statement Program, to aid victims in writing and submitting a Victim Impact Statement to the court.

Compensation

The Compensation for Victims of Crime Program provides compensation to victims who suffer personal injury, hardships or expenses as a result of certain crimes. The program is also available to specific relatives and dependents of victims of homicide in Manitoba. Compensation may cover reasonable expenses resulting from a crime including: payment of medical expenses, replacement of damaged clothing, dental treatment, replacement of prescription eyeglasses, payment of therapy or counselling, compensation for lost wages for victims who have been disabled or for dependents of a victim who is fatally injured, support payments for dependents, payment for rehabilitation, compensation for permanent disability and funeral expenses.

Ontario

Resources

Legislation

The Ontario Victims' Bill of Rights, proclaimed in 1996, sets out principles for the treatment of victims and provides for the maintenance of the Victims' Justice Fund. The Fund collects victim surcharges and uses those monies to assist victims by supporting programs or making grants to community agencies. The surcharge is calculated on a graduated scale according to the amount of the fine.

Services

Ontario supports a number of programs including:

  • The Victim/Witness Assistance Program, which provides comprehensive court-based support services to the most vulnerable victims and witnesses of crimes of violence.
  • Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Centres, which provide a broad range of services to adult female victims of sexual violence and survivors of sexual abuse.
  • Victims' Crisis Assistance and Referral Services, which are community-based agencies to provide immediate help to victims of crime or disaster.
  • The Victim Support Line -- A toll-free information line that provides information and referrals, a victim notification system, (pre-recorded) information about the criminal justice system, and a Victim Liaison Unit.
  • Partner Assault Response programs, which are educational/counselling group intervention program for offenders who have abused their partner.
  • Child Witness Support Projects, which are specialized court preparation services and advocacy for children.
  • SupportLink, which provides safety planning and cell phones to victims at risk of assault, domestic violence, and/or criminal harassment (stalking).
  • SupportLink, which provides safety planning and cell phones to victims at risk of assault, domestic violence, and/or criminal harassment (stalking).
  • Independent Legal Advice for Sexual Assault Survivors Pilot Program
    • If you are a survivor of sexual assault living in the City of Toronto, the City of Ottawa, and the District of Thunder Bay, you may be eligible to receive up to four hours of free legal advice to help you make informed decisions about your next steps.
    • This service is confidential and is available to you at any time after the sexual assault has occurred.
    • Legal representation is not provided under this pilot program (e.g., the lawyer cannot speak for you in court).

Compensation

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board administers the fund for compensable expenses including medical, dental and counselling expenses, wage loss, pain and suffering and support of a child born as a result of a rape. Lump sum or periodic awards or a combination or both can be awarded to victims or their families up to $25,000 lump sum per incident for one victim or up to $1,000 per month periodic award for all claimants.

Quebec

Resources

Legislation

Quebec's Act Respecting Assistance for Victims of Crime sets out various measures to meet the needs and concerns of victims of crime. The Act sets out, for one, the use of surcharges to fund victims of crime assistance programs province-wide.

Services

The crime victims' assistance office, set up at the ministère de la Justice, has the mandate to support victims rights and to ensure the development of victim assistance programs, the creation and distribution of information and awareness-raising programs and training on the rights and needs of victims and the services that are available to them. It is also responsible for implementing and maintaining the crime victims' assistance centres (CAVAC), which are community organizations funded by Quebec. CAVAC offer all victims of crime, their loved ones and dependents free services throughout the province. They provide basic information on the legal process and victims' rights and remedies, including those involving compensation. They offer post-trauma intervention and psycho-socio-legal services and can support victims and their families throughout the legal process.

The province of Quebec also funds assistance centres for victims of sexual assault, shelters for victims of domestic violence, a domestic violence hotline (S.O.S. Violence Conjugale), and a variety of other resources.

Compensation

In Quebec, anyone injured due to the commission of a crime against the person can claim compensation and services under the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act. The Commission de la santé et la securité du travail is responsible for the application of the Act. Others who may claim compensation are: persons injured while assisting a peace officer, while arresting or attempting to arrest an offender, or while preventing or attempting to prevent a crime. Should the victim die, their dependents or their parents if a minor, may receive compensation. Funeral expenses are covered to $3,000. The victim may receive compensation during the period they are unable to work or carry out their usual activities. Medical assistance fees, such as pharmaceutical and dental expenses, and travel fees are compensable. Social and professional reintegration fees including psychotherapy, moving, home care or training could be covered. If there are permanent consequences, compensation shall be proportional to the rate of physical or psychological disability.

New Brunswick

Resources

Legislation

New Brunswick's Victims Services Act established the Victim Services Fund for provincial and federal victim surcharges. Provincial surcharges are 20% on all Provincial fines, and Federal surcharges are 15% on all fines, while if no fine is imposed, the surcharge ranges from $50.00 to $100.00. These surcharges provide financial support for Victim Services in New Brunswick.

Services

Direct services for victims include:

  • Counselling
  • Compensation for Victims of Crime
  • Court Preparation
  • Court Support
  • Victim Impact Statement Program

Additional follow-up services include:

  • Sentencing de-briefing
  • Victim notification of release of provincially incarcerated offenders
  • Victim notification of provincial notification of not criminally responsible accused information
  • Liaison with the Correctional Service of Canada and the Parole Board of Canada for victim notification of release of federally incarcerated offenders

Compensation

The combined total amount of compensation that can be provided to an individual is $5,000, and there are limits on each type of benefit that is available. New Brunswick provides a modest pain and suffering amount in recognition of a person having been a victim of crime. People who may be eligible for compensation include:

  • a direct victim of crime,
  • a parent/guardian on behalf of victim, and
  • a homicide victim's family member.

Prince Edward Island

Resources

Legislation

The Victims of Crime Act was proclaimed on September 30, 1989, and amended effective August 7, 1989. The Province of Prince Edward Island collects a Victim Surcharge, which is placed in a Victim Assistance Fund in order to help fund Victim Services and Criminal Injury Compensation. The Fund is supplemented by general revenues and federal victim surcharges.

Services

Victim Services assists victims of crime throughout their involvement in the criminal justice system. Where a victim is incapacitated or has died as a result of the crime, family members may benefit from available services.

Victim Services of Prince Edward Island offer the following services: information about the status of cases and the criminal justice system, short-term counselling and emotional support, court preparation, help in preparing a victim impact statement, referrals to other services, assistance under the Victims of Family Violence Act, financial information, and/or the coordination of services.

Compensation

Victims Services staff investigate claims for benefits up to a maximum of $15,000 for one victim. Compensable expenses include costs incurred as a result of a personal injury or death including wages or salary lost because of injury, medical or dental costs, pain and suffering, reasonable funeral expenses, and counselling costs.

Nova Scotia

Resources

Legislation

Nova Scotia's Victims' Rights and Services Act provided for the establishment of the Victim Assistance Fund, which is supplemented by a 15% provincial surcharge on all fines, excluding the Young Persons Summary Proceedings Act and parking offences. The Fund is not used for direct compensation to individual victims, but rather for services and research respecting victims of crime. The Fund is used to finance the Child Victim Witness Program, the Provincial Victim Services Program, as well as salaries for the Criminal Injuries Counselling Program.

Services

The Court Services Division of the Department of Justice oversees Victim Services. Victim Services operates the Criminal Injuries Counselling Program, the Provincial Victims' Services Program, the Child Victim Witness Program and the Victim Impact Statement Program province-wide. Services are delivered through regional offices and include: general and case specific information; case tracking and updates; court orientation; advocacy and liaison with Police, Prosecution Services, Courts and Corrections; and assistance with criminal injuries counselling and victim impact statements. While some services may require the victim to contact and file a report with the police, all are free of charge and available to all victims of crime in Nova Scotia. All offices have toll-free numbers.

Compensation

The Victims' Services Head Office, located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, administers the program, which offers compensation for counselling to mitigate trauma resulting from personal violence offence. Counselling is offered to either the injured individual or his/her family members.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Resources

Legislation

The Victim Services Program believes in the fundamental worth and equality of victims participating in the criminal justice process. The core values to which the Program subscribes are legislated in the Victims of Crime Services Act. Through this legislation a 15% Provincial Victim Fine Surcharge is attached to violations of Provincial Acts and Regulations (excluding parking). Through this surcharge as well as revenue, the Victim Services Program operates to provide direct victim services through regional offices and community level services.

Services

Victim Services is a dedicated justice service for victims which began in 1992. There are eleven professionally staffed regional offices throughout the province. Services are available for any crime victim but priorities for service include victims of violent crimes. In October 2005, the Victim Services Program expanded to include services to child victims and witnesses who will be testifying in criminal justice proceedings.

Newfoundland and Labrador operate the Professional Services Program (counselling), the Victim Impact Statement Program, the Victim Services Assistants Program, the Victim Legal Fund, and the Victim Liaison Officers Program. Services are offered on a voluntary basis and available free of charge to those who feel they have been victimized regardless of whether a complaint has been made to the police or a charge has been laid. These services include: case and court information; court orientation; referrals; and counselling. Victim Services also helps with awareness and educational activities regarding the issues of victims/survivors.

Compensation

Nil

Yukon British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Northwest Territories Northwest Territories Manitoba Nunavut Nunavut Nunavut Ontario Quebec Quebec Nova Scotia New Brunswick Prince Edward Island Newfoundland and Labrador Newfoundland and Labrador