Victims of crime in Nova Scotia, including Indigenous victims and sexual assault survivors

Department of Justice Canada

Everyone expects to live in a society where the criminal justice system is fair, accessible, and supports the needs of victims. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting projects and activities that promote access to justice and give victims and survivors of crime a more effective voice in the criminal justice system.

Today, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, along with the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and Member of Parliament for Central Nova, announced funding to give victims of crime in Nova Scotia a more effective voice in the criminal justice system by enhancing support and improving access to justice for victims.

The Government of Canada is providing a total of $6,210,000 over five years, starting April 2021, to the Nova Scotia Department of Justice, Maintenance Enforcement and Victim Services Division to support the enhancement of victim services and the implementation of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights (CVBR), and to provide independent legal advice and representation to survivors of sexual assault.

This includes $3,530,000 in funding for Nova Scotia’s Enhancement of Services for Victims of Crime program, which supports the implementation of victim services and the CVBR across the province. The funding will help to:

  • reduce barriers for Indigenous victims of crime to better participate in the criminal justice process. This includes funding for customized activities to address the unique needs of Indigenous victims of crime, as well as funding for an Indigenous Victim Case Coordinator responsible for the administration and delivery of victim service programs for Indigenous victims in Nova Scotia;
  • support victims with unpaid restitution orders by providing them with direct supports to pursue civil enforcement and by tracking unpaid orders; and
  • improve the level of service provided to victims throughout the court process by enhancing training for staff to ensure consistent program delivery across the province.

Nova Scotia’s Sexual Offence Legal Representation program, which helps survivors in sexual assault trials by providing them with access to legal representation is receiving $2,680,000. This program aims to ensure that the privacy interests of survivors are adequately raised with the court whenever past sexual history or records of a survivor are sought to be introduced as evidence during a trial. Providing access to legal representation to survivors to challenge these applications is important in order to protect their privacy, personal integrity, and to prevent re-victimization.

With this federal funding, Nova Scotia can enhance victim services and access to justice for victims, ensuring that victims have a more effective voice in the criminal justice system.

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