CHARLOTTETOWN, November 29, 2013 – Today, Robert Goguen, M.P. for Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice, on behalf of the Honourable Peter MacKay, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Central Nova, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced more than $1.1 million in program funding to help victims of crime in Prince Edward Island. Mr. Goguen was joined at the announcement by the Honourable Janice Sherry, Minister of the Environment, Labour and Justice for Prince Edward Island.
“Our Government is standing up for victims of crime, and is committed to improving the support available to them across the country,” said Mr. Goguen. “This substantial investment is helping Prince Edward Island respond to the needs of victims of crime living in the province.”
“This past summer, I had the opportunity to visit Prince Edward Island to hear directly from victims of crime about what our Government can do to improve the justice system to better serve them,” said Minister MacKay. “We are working with our provincial partners with the common goal of ensuring that all victims of crime have access to the services and support they need.”
“The funding allows us to continue to strengthen the voice of victims in the justice system, ” said Minister Sherry. “It also allows us to enhance the services currently available in order to better support and assist those who are victims of crime and their families. ”
Through the Department of Justice Canada’s Victims Fund, a total of $1,131,528 had been made available to the Victim Services unit within PEI’s Department of Environment, Labour and Justice. The funding commenced in 2011-12 and will continue until 2015-16.
The funding is being used by PEI to help advance its project “Improving Access to Justice Services for Victims of Crime in PEI 2011-2016.” The funding is being used to:
- Support the direct provision of services and support to victims of crime in the province;
- Support the implementation and evaluation of domestic violence courts across the province;
- Enhance the skills and knowledge of victim service workers through specialized training for staff;
- Improve the experience of children and other vulnerable witnesses through a renewed Child Sexual Abuse Protocol and by developing linkages with a Child and Youth Advocacy Centre operating in Halifax, Nova Scotia; and
- Enhance services to Aboriginal victims of crime through further development of the provincial Aboriginal Victim Assistance Program.
The Government of Canada is building on past measures to further advance the interests of victims, including:
- Designating more than $120 million since 2006 to give victims a more effective voice through initiatives delivered by the Department of Justice Canada;
- Providing for $10.25 million for new or enhanced Child Advocacy Centres since 2010 to address the needs of child and youth victims of crime;
- Creating the Federal Victims Strategy in 2007 and its permanent renewal in 2011;
- Establishing the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime in 2007;
- Implementing legislation to double the victims' surcharge and make it mandatory; and
- Eliminating the faint-hope clause, which allowed murderers to obtain early parole.
This funding announcement is in keeping with the Government's Plan for Safe Streets and Communities, one of four priorities identified by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in January 2013. It is also in line with the Speech from the Throne 2013 commitment to introduce measures that will increase support for crime victims.
Backgrounder: Federal Victims Strategy and Victims Fund