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Letter addressed to Minister Lametti on management response request to OFOVC Progress Report on the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights

   

January 19, 2021

 

The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., Q.C.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6      

 

Re: management response request to OFOVC Progress Report on the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights

 

Dear Minister Lametti:

 

As the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, my mandate is to help ensure that the rights of victims and survivors of crime are respected and upheld, and that the federal government meets its obligations to victims. This includes ensuring that victims and their families have access to the federal programs and services that were specifically designed for their support. In addition to assisting individual victims, we also have a responsibility to identify and bring forward emerging and systemic issues that negatively affects victims of crime at the federal level.

Since the entry into force of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights (CVBR) in 2015, the OFOVC has heard from victims of crime who have had difficulty in obtaining their rights and having those rights observed and respected.

The CVBR was expected to substantially improve victims’ experiences of the criminal justice system. However, based on our analysis of the data available to us, it appears that the objectives set out in the Act have not been met.

As you are aware, the OFOVC undertook a review of the CVBR and published a progress report in November 2020. This report contained fifteen recommendations to strengthen and improve the performance of the legislation.

As you may know, section 9(4) of the legislation governing the OFOVC which was originally enacted pursuant to a regulation entitled Terms and Conditions of Employment of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, SOR/2007-54 (the “Terms and Conditions”) and continued by subsequent Orders-in-Council1, and states that the Ombudsman may request a management response to her recommendations.

I am writing to you now to request that you instruct officials at the Department of Justice Canada to provide a management response to the CVBR Progress Report, indicating what action is contemplated or being taken with respect to my recommendations, or explaining why the recommended action will not be taken. Ideally, I would like to receive the response within 60 days of the date of this letter.

I look forward to your comments and response, and welcome any questions you may have on the report.

 

Sincerely,

 

Heidi Illingworth
Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime

 


1 Order-in-Council P.C. 2014-0615 dated May 27, 2014; and, Order-in-Council P.C. 2016-0750 dated August 23, 2016