Victims Of Crime To Benefit From New Funding
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board is receiving $100 million in one-time funding for compensation awards to victims of crime.
This funding will be paid out over the next two to three years and will ensure that 8,000 victims of violent crime and their families receive compensation through the board.
In February 2007, the Ontario Ombudsman issued a report on the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. The report called for immediate action to improve the current compensation system for victims of violent crime. In response, the government provided an immediate $14.75 million to the board to hire more adjudicators and staff, and to speed up the hearing process. A consulting firm was hired to review its business practices and the government signed a memorandum of understanding with the board -- a joint commitment to implementing the Ombudsman's recommendations.
Since then, 90 per cent of the Ombudsman's recommendations have been addressed. The board is hearing 40 per cent more cases, which has reduced its caseload. The board is also modernizing its operations.
The government has also appointed the former Chief Justice of Ontario, Roy McMurtry, to review the role of direct compensation to victims of crime within the array of publicly funded victim services. McMurtry's report is expected later this year.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board is a quasi-judicial administrative agency established under the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act. It awards financial compensation to victims of violent crimes committed in the Province of Ontario.
Ontario funds a broad range of victim services. These services support victims in the immediate aftermath of crime, throughout the criminal justice process and as they work to rebuild their lives. Compensation is not awarded for property damage or theft, an incident involving a motor vehicle or legal fees incurred for criminal and/or civil proceedings.