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What type of complaints we take

The OFOVC can review most complaints relating to federal departments, services, programs and laws that apply to victims of crime. You can contact us if you are a victim of crime who has experienced any of the following:

  • the infringement or denial of provisions of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act throughout their interaction with the federal corrections and conditional release process of a federal offender (see examples below)
  • issues relating to programs and services provided or administered by the Department of Justice or the Department of Public Safety Canada, that impact negatively on victims of crime
  • problems accessing existing federal programs or services for victims of crime

Other examples of complaints we can review include:

  1. victims not provided with information that is required to be disclosed about the federal offender who harmed them, as set out in the Corrections and Conditional Release Act
  2. victims are registered but were not notified ahead of the release of a federal offender
  3. victims not satisfied with the response to a complaint you made to a federal agency under the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights (CVBR) regarding your statutory rights to protection, information, participation, and restitution
  4. victims identifying problems with Canada's laws, policies or programs for victims of crime not meeting their needs

The first step:

If you feel you were not treated fairly, the first step is to discuss your concerns with the government office you are dealing with. In order to find a fair solution to the problem, you can:

  • ask the government office to give reasons for their decision
  • ask to speak to a manager in order to find a way to resolve your complaint informally first
  • find out if there is a formal complaint process and submit your complaint

If you have not taken these steps, we may ask you to do so. If you do not know who to talk to, you are welcome to contact us. We may be able to help by identifying other options available to you. 

The second step:

If you are not satisfied with the response to your formal complaint from a federal department or agency, you can contact us and ask the OFOVC to review it.

The Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime does not oversee provincial matters, or matters relating to compensation or financial assistance for victims of crime. If you are not sure whether your complaint falls within our mandate, do not worry. If we cannot address your complaint directly, we will gladly point you in the right direction and connect you with the appropriate agency or service provider.

Please note that we cannot take complaints about:

  • Recommendations made by the Correctional Service of Canada to the Parole Board of Canada or any provincial board;
  • Decision of the Parole Board of Canada or any provincial parole board;
  • Decision of the Correctional Service of Canada as to whether or not to transfer an inmate to another penitentiary or authorize a release, including a work release and escorted or unescorted temporary absences;
  • Any court decision, or decisions of judges or justices of the peace;
  • Any decision whether or not to prosecute;
  • Confidences of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada;
  • Legal advice provided to the Government of Canada;
  • Provincial compensation;
  • Police investigations;
  • Violations of provincial victims' rights legislations;