Ontario Releases McMurtry Victim Services Report
For Immediate Release
August 21, 2008
McGuinty Government Helping Victims Of Crime
Ontario has released a report on victim compensation by the Honourable R. Roy McMurtry. The province asked Mr. McMurtry to make recommendations on victim services following the Ombudsman’s Report on the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB).Mr. McMurtry’s advice will help the province to accelerate integrating and making victim services more transparent by:
– Providing victims of crime with a single point of access to supports and services in their communities through a new website and toll-free victim support telephone line.
– Working with local community victim services, police and Crown attorneys to develop a protocol for informing victims about the services available to them.
– Reporting annually to the public on provincially funded victim services and programs.
Ontario will use Mr. McMurtry’s direction to build on improvements made to victim services since the Ombudsman’s report in 2007, including:
– Investing nearly $115 million in the CICB to benefit approximately 9,000 victims of crime and their families, including support for more adjudicators and staff to speed up the hearing process.
– Reducing the CICB’s caseload by hearing 40 per cent more cases than before — which means approximately 1,000 more victims had their cases processed this year compared with last.
– Providing direct assistance through the new Victim Quick Response Program, which covers emergency expenses in the immediate aftermath of violent crime.
– Completing 90 per cent of the recommendations made in the Ombudsman’s Report on the CICB.
In his report, Mr. McMurtry notes that Ontario “has been, and continues to be, a leader in providing assistance to victims of crime,” and serves “as a model to other Canadian and international jurisdictions.”
“Mr. McMurtry offers us helpful advice on how we can do more for victims when they most need our compassion and support,” said Attorney General Chris Bentley. “Ontario’s many advocates for victims of crime have shown tremendous leadership through the years — and now we have an opportunity to bring together our services and supports to make them more accessible.”
“As I stated in my report, I strongly believe that ‘crime victims are often the forgotten individuals of the criminal justice system’ and am therefore pleased by Attorney General Bentley’s commitment to ‘do more for victims when they most need our compassion and support’,” said the Honourable R. Roy McMurtry, O.Ont., Q.C.
– Since 2003/04 over $546.3 million has been spent on victim services.
– Ontario’s new Early Victim Contact program provides outreach to victims of domestic violence within 24 hours.
– Ontario’s Victim Crisis Assistance Referral Service helped approximately 48,000 victims last year with immediate on-site service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Read the McMurtry Report on Financial Assistance for Victims of Violent Crime in Ontario.
View the newly expanded Ontario Victim Services Secretariat website, which has a search function to help you find victim services in your area.
View the Office for Victims of Crime, the voice of victims to government, which provides advice to the Attorney General of Ontario on behalf of victims.
E-mail or talk to someone to find out how you can volunteer to help victims of crime in your community through Ontario Volunteer Centres.
Sheamus Murphy, Ministry of the Attorney General
Minister’s Office, 416-326-1785
Brendan Crawley, Ministry of the Attorney General
Communications Branch, 416-326-2210