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

Media contact:
Christina McDonald, Manager of Communications
[email protected]

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
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to great conferences, helping you discover new conferences and increase your return on investment.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Sanjeev Sharma Joins November 11-13, 2018 @DevOpsSummit at @CloudEXPO New York Faculty. Sanjeev Sharma is an internationally known DevOps and Cloud Transformation thought leader, technology executive, and author. Sanjeev's industry experience includes tenures as CTO, Technical Sales leader, and Cloud Architect leader. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Sanjeev is recognized at the highest levels of IBM's core of technical leaders.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER gives detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPOalso offers sp...
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Global Network has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The IoT Global Network is a platform where you can connect with industry experts and network across the IoT community to build the successful IoT business of the future.
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve fu...
"We do one of the best file systems in the world. We learned how to deal with Big Data many years ago and we implemented this knowledge into our software," explained Jakub Ratajczak, Business Development Manager at MooseFS, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Kevin Jackson joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized cloud computing expert and Founder/Author of the award winning "Cloud Musings" blog. Mr. Jackson has also been recognized as a "Top 100 Cybersecurity Influencer and Brand" by Onalytica (2015), a Huffington Post "Top 100 Cloud Computing Experts on Twitter" (2013) and a "Top 50 C...
When applications are hosted on servers, they produce immense quantities of logging data. Quality engineers should verify that apps are producing log data that is existent, correct, consumable, and complete. Otherwise, apps in production are not easily monitored, have issues that are difficult to detect, and cannot be corrected quickly. Tom Chavez presents the four steps that quality engineers should include in every test plan for apps that produce log output or other machine data. Learn the ste...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...