SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Gary Arora, Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan

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Government of Canada Launches National Victims of Crime Awareness Week

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 04/23/12 -- Today, the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, was joined by the Honourable Vic Toews, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Provencher, and Minister of Public Safety, and Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu Senator, to launch National Victims of Crime Awareness Week (NVCAW).

Minister Nicholson announced that the Government of Canada will increase funding to the Victim's Fund by $7 million over five years, $5 million of which will be directed to the creation and enhancement of Child Advocacy Centres across Canada. Minister Nicholson also announced that the government has amended the terms and conditions of the Victims Fund to allow non-governmental groups serving victims to apply for time-limited operational funding.

"Our Government is committed to providing victims of crime, and those who serve them, with the tools and support they require," said Minister Nicholson. "The new funding announced in this year's Budget further demonstrates the commitment this Government has made to victims of crime."

"Over the past six years we have made it clear that victims are an important part of the federal justice and correctional systems," said Minister Toews. "Since this Government was brought to power, we have established the Office for the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, and given victims a greater voice in the correctional and justice systems."

"Non-governmental groups that serve victims of crime will soon be able to apply for operational funding to allow them to strengthen their services," said Senator Boisvenu. "Our Government has taken strong action for victims of crime because we believe the justice system must not put the rights of criminals ahead of those of victims."

The 7th annual NVCAW builds on the Government's previous actions for victims of crime. In 2007, the Government announced the Federal Victims Strategy and committed $52 million over four years to respond to the needs of victims of crime. In Budget 2011, the Government announced $26 million in renewed funding over two years for the Federal Victims Strategy.

This year's Victims Week will be marked by more than 160 events and projects being held in all provinces and territories, with a federal government investment of more than $1.4 million for these local events.

Internet: www.canada.justice.gc.ca (Version francaise disponible)

BACKGROUNDER

Funded Projects for National Victims of Crime Awareness Week 2012

The Department of Justice Canada provided funding through the Victims Fund of up to $10,000 each to organizations to host events during National Victims of Crime Awareness Week (NVCAW) 2012. The following is a sample of the events taking place across the country, in every province and territory. To view the complete list of the 162 funded projects and events, visit the NVCAW Calendar of Events at: http://canada.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/pcvi-cpcv/cal/index.html.

-   SLAVE LAKE VICTIMS SERVICES SOCIETY                                     
    Community Appreciation Event                                            
                                                                            
-   ACT ALBERTA - ACTION COALITION ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING                     
    Victims of Human Trafficking Week - Awareness-Raising Events, Training  
    and Conference                                                          
                                                                            
-   NATIVE COURTWORKER AND COUNSELLING ASSOCIATION OF BC                    
    "Promoting Safe Communities" Print Campaign                             
                                                                            
-   THE LAUREL CENTRE                                                       
    "The Silent Witness Project"                                            
                                                                            
-   AGE & OPPORTUNITY                                                       
    "Moving Forward" Innovative Training on Older Victims for Victim Service
    Workers                                                                 
                                                                            
-   TABLE DE CONCERTATION POUR CONTRER LA VIOLENCE CONJUGALE ET FAMILIALE   
    DANS LA PENINSULE ACADIENNE                                             
    "Aller de l'avant"                                                      
                                                                            
-   CANADIAN CRIME VICTIM FOUNDATION AND THE FIVE WITH DRIVE ASSOCIATION    
    "Freedom Walk" from Vancouver to Toronto, Awareness Raising Event       
                                                                            
-   VICTIM SERVICES ELGIN                                                   
    "Moving Forward with Sheldon Kennedy" Awareness Raising Events          
                                                                            
-   CANADIAN PARENTS OF MURDERED CHILDREN, INC.                             
    "Stop blaming the victims" workshop                                     
                                                                            
-   ASSOCIATION DES FAMILLES DE PERSONNES ASSASSINEES OU DISPARUES          
    "Soutenir nos familles et aller de l'avant !"                           
                                                                            
-   YORKTON PARTNERSHIP AGAINST VIOLENCE COMMITTEE                          
    "Moving Forward Bully Free, A Pink Clothesline Project"                 

BACKGROUNDER

Federal Victims Strategy/Victims Fund

In 2007, the Government announced the Federal Victims Strategy and committed $52 million over four years to respond to the needs of victims of crime.

As part of the Economic Action Plan, Budget 2011 renewed the Federal Victims Strategy at a funding level of $13 million per year. Budget 2012 built on this funding by adding $7 million over five years, $5 million of which will be directed to the creation and enhancement of Child Advocacy Centres across Canada.

The objective of the Strategy, which is led by the Department of Justice Canada, is to give victims a more effective voice in the criminal justice system. Working in collaboration with victims, victim advocates, provincial and territorial governments, service providers and others involved in the criminal justice system, the Department identifies issues of concern to victims of crime, and facilitates policy development and criminal law reform.

The Federal Victims Strategy includes the Victims Fund, a grants and contributions program administered by the Department of Justice. With the new funding announced in Budget 2012, the Fund will have $11.6 million each year available to fund provinces, territories and non-governmental organizations whose projects, activities and operations support the objective of the Federal Victims Strategy. The terms and conditions of the Victims Fund have also been enhanced so that non-governmental organizations can apply to receive time-limited operational funding.

The Victims Fund funds projects and activities which:

- promote access to justice and participation by victims in the justice     
  system;                                                                   
                                                                            
- promote the development of law, policies and programs for victims;        
                                                                            
- promote the implementation of principles, guidelines and laws designed to 
  address the needs of victims of crime and articulate the victim's role in 
  the criminal justice system;                                              
                                                                            
- increase knowledge and awareness of the impact of victimization, the needs
  of victims of crime, available services, assistance and programs, and     
  relevant legislation;                                                     
                                                                            
- encourage governmental and non-governmental organizations to identify     
  victim needs and gaps in services, and develop and deliver programs,      
  services and assistance to victims; and                                   
                                                                            
- promote capacity building within non-governmental organizations.          

More information is available on the Department of Justice Canada's website.

Contacts:
Julie Di Mambro
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice
613-992-4621

Media Relations
Department of Justice
613-957-4207

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