For Immediate Release
April 24, 2015 – SWIFT CURRENT– Today, David Anderson, Member of Parliament for Cypress Hills-Grasslands, was honoured to attend the South West Victim Services Regional Relay to highlight the 10th annual National Victims of Crime Awareness Week.
Victims Week raises awareness about issues facing victims of crime and the services, programs and laws in place to help victims and their families. This regional relay is one of many events being held across Canada from April 19th to 25th.
The 656 km South West Victim Services Regional Relay, spanned across southwest Saskatchewan and brought the participants together in Swift Current. Proclamations signed by the communities in support of Victims Week were presented to Mr. Anderson. “I am pleased our Government has provided support for this important event. The work done by South West Victim Services is a great example of the action being taken in our community to help shape a future in which victims of crime have a more effective voice in our criminal justice system,” Anderson said.
Victims Week 2015 is also an opportunity to reflect on the concrete measures the Government of Canada has taken to give victims of crime a more effective voice at the heart of our criminal justice system, and to ensure they are treated with the courtesy, compassion and respect for dignity.
A key measure taken by the Government of Canada was the introduction in April 2014 of the Victims Bill of Rights. This landmark legislation will enshrine in law, once and for all, a bill of rights for victims of crime. Victims deserve and should have a right to information, protection, participation, and – where possible – a right to 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.
Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada said, “Our Government is committed to keeping our streets and communities safe while enhancing the rights of victims of crime and placing them at the heart of our criminal justice system. We will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure that victims are treated with dignity, courtesy and respect. I want to personally thank the many dedicated professionals and volunteers who work on the front lines in communities across the country to provide services and support to victims on a daily basis.”
Other measures taken by the Government include laws that protect Canadians, particularly youth, from online exploitation, and laws that better protect Canadians from not criminally responsible (NCR) accused persons who are designated by a court to be at high risk of committing future acts of violence. Other laws enacted by Parliament ensure tough sentences for those who take advantage of elderly Canadians, and strengthen the National Sex Offender Registry and the National DNA Data Bank. These measures demonstrate the Government’s commitment to keeping Canada’s streets and communities safe, and to protecting Canadians and recognizing the rights of victims of crime.
For more information contact:
Office of David Anderson M.P. (306) 778-4480
- For the 10th annual Victims Week, three Federal Symposia will be held across the country, including one in the National Capital Region (April 20, 2015), one in Vancouver (April 22, 2015) and one in Halifax (April 24, 2015). The symposia are day-long events that feature workshops and plenary sessions on victim issues.
- Through the Victims Fund, a grants and contributions program administered by the Department of Justice Canada, victim-serving organizations were able to apply for up to $10,000 in funding to host events during Victims Week.
- This year, more than 190 Victims Week events and projects will be held right across the country with funding from the Victims Fund.
- As strong advocates for victims of crime the Government of Canada has introduced measures to protect Canadians and recognize the important rights of victims of crime, including:
- Ensuring that Canada’s most heinous criminals are kept behind bars for life (Bill C-53, the Life Means Life Act)
- Protecting our children from sexual exploitation and online crime (Bill C-26, Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act)
- Additionally, many legislative measures introduced by the Government of Canada have already been enacted to protect Canadians and to put the rights of victims first, including:
- Protecting Canadians – especially youth – from online exploitation by prohibiting the non-consensual distribution of intimate images (The Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act); and
- Repealing the “faint-hope” for murders, to spare families of victims the pain of reliving their losses over and over again through repeated parole eligibility hearings (The Serious Time for the Most Serious Crime Act).
- Through the Federal Victims Strategy, the Government of Canada is committed to giving victims of crime a more effective voice in the criminal justice system through more that $158 million in funding since 2006.