Aspin applauds introduction of Victims Bill of RightsThursday, April 03, 2014 by: Kate Adams
Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Jay Aspin
Jay Aspin, MP for Nipissing-Timiskaming, applauded today the introduction of historic legislation by Prime Minister Stephen Harper for the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights. The Prime Minister was joined by Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
“Our government held consultations across Canada with victims of crime,” said MP Jay Aspin. “Many shared their experience with the criminal justice system expressing that the process could be more inclusive and mindful of the needs of victims. The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights delivers on our Government’s promise in the 2013 Speech from the Throne.”
“I am very proud of this monumental legislation initiated by our government,” said MP Jay Aspin. “Offenders, especially violent offenders, need to be held accountable and the rights of victims need not only be protected but enhanced as well. It is important that we not only punish offenders and deter others, but also respect and include victims in the criminal justice process.”
The legislation would create the following statutory rights for victims of crime:
o Right to information: Victims would have the right to general information about the criminal justice system and available victim services and programs, as well as specific information about the progress of the case, including information relating to the investigation, prosecution and sentencing of the person who harmed them.
o Right to protection: Victims would have the right to have their security and privacy considered at all stages of the criminal justice process, to have reasonable and necessary measures to protect them from intimidation and retaliation, and to request their identity be protected from public disclosure.
o Right to participation: Victims would have a right to convey their views about decisions to be made by criminal justice professionals and have them considered at various stages of the criminal justice process, and to present a victim impact statement.
o Right to restitution: Victims would have the right to have the court consider making a restitution order for all offences for which there are easy-to-calculate financial losses.
•The Government will provide dedicated funding to support the implementation of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights through existing resources as well as the allocation of new federal resources
- A study released in 2011 by the Department of Justice Canada found that the total cost of crime is an estimated $99.6 billion a year – 83 per cent of which is borne by victims.
- According to Statistics Canada, nearly 2 million criminal incidents were reported to Canadian police services in 2012.
- All provinces and territories have legislation for victims of crime and currently manage successful victims’ services programs in their own jurisdictions