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FAQs about complaints process

Here are the most commonly asked questions about our complaints process.

  • How will you handle my complaint?

    The OFOVC works closely with the victims who contact us to try to find solutions following the process outlined below. However, because every victim's situation is different, the process may differ slightly in some cases. In every case, we will give all parties to a dispute an opportunity to be heard and will treat all victims, government departments and agencies fairly, and with dignity and respect.

    Long description of this graph is available on a separate page.

  • What types of complaints can you review?

    The OFOVC can review most complaints relating to federal departments, laws and services that apply to victims of crime. For example, victims may contact us if they are not satisfied with the response of a complaint that they:

    • were not provided with information on the offender who harmed them, as set out in the Corrections and Conditional Release Act;
    • were registered but not notified of the release of an offender;
    • feel that Canada's laws or policies for victims of crime do not meet their needs.
  • What if my complaint doesn't fall within OFOVC's mandate?

    There are some types of complaints related to federal departments and policies that we cannot review, such as:

    • decisions of the Parole Board of Canada (i.e. releasing an offender);
    • a recommendation made by the Correctional Service of Canada to a parole board (i.e. support for release of an offender); and
    • a decision of the Correctional Service of Canada to transfer an offender or authorize a release (i.e. temporary absence for medical care).

    We also cannot review decisions made by a judge pertaining to an offender's sentencing and/or prosecution or complaints related to matters that fall under provincial victims' rights legislations.

    If you are not sure whether your complaint falls within our mandate, don't worry. If we cannot address your complaint directly, we will happily help by connecting you with the appropriate agency or service.

  • How long will it take?

    Because every case is different it is not possible to know exactly how long it will take to resolve a case; however, our complaint review officers will work diligently to address your concerns as quickly as possible.

  • What do you do with the information I give you?

    The information provided will be used to assess your complaint pursuant to Ombudsman's mandate to address complaints of victims. (SOR/2007-54, 4(1)(b))

    OFOVC is committed to respecting the privacy of individuals. All personal information held or collected by the OFOVC is protected by the Privacy Act). All information provided to OFOVC is confidential. OFOVC does not release any information that identifies an individual or group without prior consent. Similarly, no other government institution has the right to access information given in confidence to OFOVC without this consent.

If you have been, or are representing, a victim of crime and have questions or a complaint about the federal laws, policies or services that apply to victims, please contact us.