News Feed Item

Pushing for Further Change: Canada's Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime Issues Response to the Victims Bill of Rights

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 05/13/14 -- 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
--  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."

Additional links:

--  Ombudsman's response to the Victims Bill of Rights
--  Backgrounder
--  OFOVC's submission to the Government of Canada re: the creation of the
    Victims Bill of Rights

Backgrounder: Canada's Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime Issues Response to the Canadian Victim Bill of Rights

On May 13, 2014 Canada's Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime released her response to the recently tabled Canadian Victims Bill of Rights (VBR).

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.

The document speaks to the benefits of the Bill, including the fact that for the first time Canada now has a legislative cornerstone from which to continue moving forward in enhancing victims' right. At the same time, the Ombudsman notes that of the nearly 30 recommendations her Office made to the Government of Canada for inclusion in its Bill, only four have been fully addressed and another ten recommendations have been partially addressed, leaving room for improvement.

Included in the full response paper is discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of various elements of the Bill. A synopsis of some of those elements is included below.

Informing victims


Under the VBR victims will be given:

--  information about the investigation and proceedings and certain
    information about an offender or accused, upon request;
--  access to an offender's bail and/or probation order, upon request.
--  access to a recent photograph of the offender prior to conditional
    release; and
--  automatic access to the Parole Board of Canada's (PBC) Decision


--  The definition of who can act on behalf of a victim is restrictive in
    that it does not account for partners who do not live in a conjugal
    relationship with the victim or close friends, in cases where a victim
    may be disconnected from family.
--  While the VBR does provide for enhanced information-sharing, it does not
    outline the responsibilities for this in specific terms. Without this,
    there is a risk that agencies may fail to provide certain information to
    victims, as required. Outlining specific responsibilities would also
    serve to clarify for victims who to contact in order to request specific
    information, if required.
--  Similarly, the VBR does not address the fact that most victims are not
    aware of the need to register with the PBC or the Correctional Service
    of Canada (CSC) in order to receive information about the offender who
    harmed them. While informing victims of this obligation early on the
    process could be beneficial, most often victims find that when they are
    overwhelmed or in the early stages of the aftermath of a crime they will
    not properly absorb or retain this type of information. As such, the
    system should endeavour to provide the authority and opportunity for the
    appropriate departments and resources to proactively reach out to
    victims at a more opportune time in order to inform or remind them of
    their rights and to facilitate their registration, should the victim
    choose to register.
--  The provision of access to a photo of the offender does not apply in the
    case of escorted temporary absences.

Considering and protecting victims


--  The VBR provides a mandatory, standardized form to help victims fill out
    a "Victim Impact Statement" that will be presented in court. Providing
    victims with this form helps to ensure their statements reflect the full
    spectrum of how the crime has affected their lives and ensures more
    national consistency.
--  Under the proposed legislation, judges must consider the safety and
    security of the victim before bail.
--  The VBR introduces the requirement for the PBC to explain, in writing,
    why it has not imposed a non-communication order or geographical
    restriction in cases where a victim has expressed safety concerns or
    stated that they do not wish to have contact with the offender.


--  The VBR allows certain victims to be informed of a plea bargain, but it
    does not allow for victims to have input before a plea is accepted.
--  The proposed legislation does not address a victims' need for choice and
    options in attending/participating in a parole hearing (i.e. via
    teleconference, video-conference, closed-circuit video, etc).
--  The effectiveness of proposed enforcement regime of complaint resolution
    systems remains to be seen.
--  While the VBR permits a victim to be notified once an offender is
    deported from Canada before the expiration of their sentence, it does
    not permit a victim to submit and/or present a statement at Immigration
    Review Board hearings.

Supporting victims


--  Judges are now required to consider making a restitution order in all


--  Under the VBR, victims who are still owed monies may enter as a
    judgement any amount ordered to be paid that remains unpaid under the
    order in any civil court in Canada. This still puts the onus on the
    victim to take steps to collect the money owed to them rather than have
    the authorities obtain the funds. Victims should not have to go to civil
    court to enforce a restitution order. Restitution is part of the
    offender's sentence, and structures should be in place to ensure those
    orders are enforced.

For more information, or to view the Ombudsman's full response, news release and more, please visit: www.victimsfirst.gc.ca

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
"Splunk basically takes machine data and we make it usable, valuable and accessible for everyone. The way that plays in DevOps is - we need to make data-driven decisions to delivering applications," explained Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk and @DevOpsSummit Conference Chair, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Logz.io is a log analytics platform. We offer the ELK stack, which is the most common log analytics platform in the world. We offer it as a cloud service," explained Tomer Levy, co-founder and CEO of Logz.io, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, ...
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Robert Doyle, lead architect at eCube Systems, will examine the issues and need for an agile infrastructure and show the advantages of capturing developer knowledge in an exportable file for migration into production. He will introduce the use of NXTmonitor, a next-generation DevOps tool that captures application environments, dependencies and start/stop procedures in a portable configuration file with an easy-to-use GUI. In addition to captur...
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Due of the rise of Hadoop, many enterprises are now deploying their first small clusters of 10 to 20 servers. At this small scale, the complexity of operating the cluster looks and feels like general data center servers. It is not until the clusters scale, as they inevitably do, when the pain caused by the exponential complexity becomes apparent. We've seen this problem occur time and time again. In his session at Big Data Expo, Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ...
One of the hottest areas in cloud right now is DRaaS and related offerings. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Dale Levesque, Disaster Recovery Product Manager with Windstream's Cloud and Data Center Marketing team, will discuss the benefits of the cloud model, which far outweigh the traditional approach, and how enterprises need to ensure that their needs are properly being met.
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and Containers together help companies to achieve their business goals faster and more effectively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of D...
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation; Alan Williamson, Principal ...
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
DevOps and microservices are permeating software engineering teams broadly, whether these teams are in pure software shops but happen to run a business, such Uber and Airbnb, or in companies that rely heavily on software to run more traditional business, such as financial firms or high-end manufacturers. Microservices and DevOps have created software development and therefore business speed and agility benefits, but they have also created problems; specifically, they have created software securi...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
"There is a huge interest in Kubernetes. People are now starting to use Kubernetes and implement it," stated Sebastian Scheele, co-founder of Loodse, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.