Today, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced that Dr. Benjamin Roebuck has been appointed to the position of Federal Ombudsperson for Victims of Crime. Dr. Roebuck replaces Heidi Illingworth, who was appointed on September 20, 2018.
Dr. Roebuck is an internationally recognized expert in the field of victimology, which is the study of the psychological effects of crime and the relationship between victims and offenders. Prior to this appointment, he spent over 15 years as a researcher and educator on victim rights. He has been a Professor of Victimology and Public Safety at Algonquin College since 2010, and is a founding member and Research Chair of the Victimology Research Centre, which was established in 2020. He is also currently a member of the External Advisory Committee for the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre, which provides support for currently serving and former Canadian Armed Forces members and National Defence public service employees affected by sexual misconduct.
In 2007, the Government of Canada created the Office of the Federal Ombudsperson for Victims of Crime to serve as an independent resource for victims in Canada.
The Ombudsperson’s role is to ensure the federal government meets its commitments to promote access to existing government programs and services, and to identify and explore systemic and emerging victim issues. The Office operates at arm’s length from the federal departments responsible for victim issues, namely the Department of Justice and the Department of Public Safety. The provinces and territories continue to be the primary providers of victim services.
The appointment is effective as of October 24, 2022.