Minister of Justice Announces New Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime

News release

September 24, 2018 - Ottawa, ON - Department of Justice Canada

Today, the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., M.P. Q.C., Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced that Heidi Illingworth has been appointed to the position of Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime. She replaces Sue O’Sullivan who was appointed on June 21, 2010.

Heidi Illingworth has extensive experience in the victim services field. Prior to her appointment, she spent 20 years in front line service delivery for victims of serious crime and interpersonal violence. She has served as the Executive Director of the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for over 11 years. She has been a strong advocate for victims of crime, developing a number of resources to help support victim service providers, as well as individual victims of crime and their families.

In 2007, the Government of Canada created the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime to serve as an independent resource for victims in Canada. The Ombudsman's role is to ensure the federal government meets its commitments to promote access to existing government programs and services, and to identify and explore systemic and emerging victim issues. The Office operates at arm's length from the federal departments responsible for victim issues, namely the Department of Justice and the Department of Public Safety. The provinces and territories continue to be the primary providers of victim services.

The appointment is effective as of October 1, 2018. 

Quick facts

  • The process of filling the the position of Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime was undertaken in accordance with the Government’s new, merit-based approach to Governor in Council appointments.

  • In addition to its direct work with victims, the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime also works to ensure that policy makers and other criminal justice personnel are aware of victims' needs and concerns and to identify important issues and trends that may negatively impact victims.

  • Victims can contact the Office to learn more about their rights under federal law and the services available to them, or to make a complaint about any federal agency or federal legislation dealing with victims of crime.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Célia Canon
Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Justice

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

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