Victims have rights in the judicial system. MADD Canada serves as a resource for victims whose cases are making their way through the court and judicial process.
Court Accompaniment and Support
Many Chapters offer court support to help families and friends understand the judicial proceedings and to be available to them during this traumatic experience. MADD Canada has trained volunteers at the Chapter level to assist victims with everything from writing and delivering their impact statements, to encouraging a liaison with Crown Attorneys, police and other professionals.
For more information, please contact the Victim Services Manager for your region:
- Gillian Phillips, Western Region (MB, SK, AB, BC, YT, NWT) at 1-866-461-4077 or via email at email@example.com
- Steve Sullivan, Ontario Region at 1-866-876-5224 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Marie Claude Morin, Quebec Region at 1-877-392-6233 or via email at email@example.com
- Gloria Appleby, Atlantic Region (NS, NB, PE, NL) at 1-866-381-8310 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Proposed Canadian Victims Bill of Rights
In April 2014, the Government of Canada tabled legislation to create a federal Victims Bill of Rights.
“Bill C-32: An Act to Enact the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights and To Amend Certain Acts” will, among other things, give victims:
- the right to specific information about the progress of the case, including information relating to the investigation, prosecution and sentencing of the person who harmed them;
- a right to convey their views about decisions to be made by criminal justice professionals and have them considered at various stages of the criminal justice process, and to present a victim impact statement;
- the right to have the court consider making a restitution order for all offences for which there are easy-to-calculate financial losses.
Click here to read the Government news release on Bill C-32.
The Bill is now before the House of Commons where it will be reviewed, debated and ultimately voted on.
MADD Canada welcomes this legislation. Many victims of impaired driving and other crimes feel they are ignored by the criminal justice system. Bill C-32 will give victims a stronger voice and a stronger role in the criminal justice system.
Our analysis of the proposed legislation indicates it will expand the ability of victims to obtain case specific information and will help ensure that their views are sought at various stages in the criminal proceedings. However, it should be noted that the real world impact of the Bill will depend in large measure on the provinces’ commitment to strengthening victims’ rights.
Click here to read MADD Canada’s Analysis of “Bill C-32: An Act to Enact the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights and to Amend Certain Acts” (PDF)
Consultation on Victims Bill of Rights
On October 21, 2014, MADD Canada participated in a public consultation before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights to discuss “Bill C-32: An Act to Enact the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights”.
In the year before tabling the legislation, the Government conducted a broad consultation process to seek out the views of provincial and territorial governments, the criminal and civil justice systems, victims of crime, organizations and agencies representing victims, and the public.
As a voice for victims of impaired driving, MADD Canada participated in a consultation meeting in Ottawa in April, and also prepared a written submission for the Government’s consideration.
As our submission paper notes, MADD Canada believes that changes need to occur on both the federal and provincial/territorial levels to ensure victims’ rights are provided for and protected. The proposed Victims Bill of Rights has the potential to lessen the hardships faced by victims of impaired driving and other crimes through improved access to justice and protection from unfair treatment. However, a federal bill of rights alone is not enough. The majority of victims’ issues in Canada are governed by provincial and territorial legislation. This legislation varies from province to province and does not guarantee equal treatment of victims across Canada. MADD Canada believes that in order to ensure comprehensive and fair victims’ rights the Federal Government must also encourage the provinces and territories to adopt uniform victims’ right legislation, including more generous and inclusive compensation.
Glossary of Legal Terms
If you are involved in any legal proceeding, you will probably hear terms you are not familiar with. Feel free to ask your lawyer or community legal worker the meaning of these terms.
To assist you, MADD Canada has compiled a list of the definitions for common legal terms, which can help to understand legal problems and procedures. Please note, these definitions are short and should not be relied on to conduct your legal affairs.