IQALUIT, NUNAVUT--(Marketwired - Sept. 17, 2013) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Central Nova, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today met with victims of crime and justice advocates in Iqaluit to discuss key priorities for the creation of a Canadian Victims Bill of Rights.

"The Government is committed to improving the justice system for victims of crime to ensure that courtesy, dignity and respect for victims are commonplace," said Minister MacKay. "Travelling from coast to coast to coast this summer, I have heard directly from those impacted by crime about the need to re-balance the justice system to ensure that the needs of victims are addressed appropriately."

This consultation follows the Government's commitment in February to entrench the rights of victims of crime by bringing forward legislation to implement a Canadian Victims Bill of Rights as a single law at the federal level. Views expressed by those at the Iqaluit consultation will add to information received through other consultations across the country and to the online public consultation being hosted on the Department of Justice website. The online consultation has been extended until September 27, 2013, and is available at . These consultations will ultimately contribute to enhancing victims' rights in Canada.

The development of a federal Victims Bill of Rights builds on the Government's record of achievements in giving victims a more effective voice in the criminal justice and corrections systems. These achievements include:

  • 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 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;
  • Introducing legislation to double the victims' surcharge and make it mandatory; and
  • Eliminating the faint-hope clause, which allowed murderers to obtain early parole.

The Victims Bill of Rights consultations are part of the Government's Plan for Safe Streets and Communities, which is one of four priorities identified by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. This plan focuses on tackling crime, enhancing victims' rights, and ensuring a fair and efficient justice system.


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Contact Information:

Paloma Aguilar
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice

Media Relations Office
Department of Justice