April 20, 2015 – Gatineau, QC – Department of Justice.
Today, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Peter MacKay and Canada's Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Steven Blaney launched the 10th annual National Victims of Crime Awareness Week (Victims Week) by welcoming victims, victim advocates, victim-serving organizations, criminal justice system professionals and policy-makers to a federal symposium held in Gatineau, Quebec.
The theme of the 10th annual Victims Week, "Shaping the Future Together," recognizes the actions taken by victims, dedicated criminal justice professionals and volunteers, victim service providers, and all levels of government to shape a future that gives victims of crime a meaningful voice in our criminal justice system.
During their remarks, Minister MacKay and Minister Blaney discussed the significant and concrete measures that the Government of Canada has taken to ensure that victims have a more effective voice at the heart of our criminal justice system and are treated with the courtesy, compassion and respect for dignity they deserve at every stage of the criminal justice process.
A key measure taken by the Government of Canada was the introduction in April 2014 of Bill C-32, the Victims Bill of Rights Act, which would create clear rights for victims of crime at the federal level - a first in Canadian history. The Victims Bill of Rights Act is landmark legislation that would enshrine in law, once and for all, a bill of rights for victims of crime. It recognizes that victims deserve - and should have a right to information, protection, participation, and a right to seek restitution. For too long, the rights of criminals have received more attention than those of their victims. The Government of Canada has committed to reversing that trend and to keeping our streets and communities safe for all Canadians.
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