Victim agency gets financial reprieve from stingy feds

A meagre, last-minute grant from the federal government has rescued the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime. The independent agency faced imminent shutdown without funding for 2013. Ottawa came through with $50,000, a paltry amount, that will allow the agency to function next year, though it will still have to scratch together additional cash.

Questioned in the House of Commons about the government’s failure to adequately fund the small agency that provides critical help to crime victims, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews trumpeted the government’s investment in crime prevention initiatives. Toews boasted that Ottawa is spending $40 million annually on the National Crime Prevention Centre. Admittedly, any measures that prevent crime, or address the root causes, are worthy, but there are already plenty of victims in Canada who need help navigating the arcane and intimidating bureaucracies that govern courts and corrections. The CRCVC is one of the few independent organizations that can, for example, help a victim follow the progress through the prison system of the perpetrator who victimized him or her.

NDP MP Randall Garrison asked Toews if he would commit to providing the CRCVC with stable, long-term funding. Toews dodged the question with this obfuscation answer:

Mr. Speaker, the NDP likes to talk about crime prevention measures, but when it really counts, it has consistently voted against these very measures. It is our Conservative government that created programs like the national crime prevention strategy and the youth gang prevention fund. I hope the member opposite will finally stop the double-talk and get serious about supporting our measures to support victims.

Here’s the announcement issued by the CRCVC about the funding it has managed to extract from Ottawa:

The Board of Directors of the CRCVC is pleased to inform you that we received a grant from the federal government very shortly after our message for assistance went out. We applied for Time-limited operational funding (TLOF) in July of 2012 and have been approved for $50,000 for 2012-13 and $50,000 for 2013-14.

We cannot thank you enough for all the support you showed us through emails and social media in this difficult time. We are equally appreciative of the efforts of staff at the Policy Centre for Victim Issues and the Minister of Justice. The Board is so pleased the important services we offer have been recognized through this funding.

In order to return to full operating capacity, we will need to acquire some additional project funding in 2013. We will keep everyone posted.

Heidi Illingworth
Executive Director

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