June 17, 2024
Who speaks for Canada's crime victims?
Hopefully, the next federal government will make the Ombudsman for Victims of Crime an Officer of Parliament, answerable directly to Members of Parliament and not, as is currently the case, the government of the day.
Hopefully, the next federal government will make the Ombudsman for Victims of Crime an Officer of Parliament, answerable directly to Members of Parliament and not, as is currently the case, the government of the day.

A recent article by the Sun’s Michelle Mandel struck a nerve with me – and, I suspect, with many people concerned about victims of crime in Canada.

An Oshawa man was charged with impaired driving in a 2017 collision that caused life-threatening, life-altering injuries to the victim. In exchange for a guilty plea, the Crown prosecutor agreed to recommend a sentence of just forty-five days in jail, less five for pre-trial custody.

This sweetheart arrangement was negotiated without any involvement of the victim. He was totally ignored. Fortunately, the trial judge noted this failure to consult and tossed out the deal.

And that’s that, you might say, but why did this happen?

Was the Crown prosecutor disciplined? How can we stop the justice system from choosing expediency of process over a victim’s rights? Where is the national voice for victims when incidents like this occur, or when judges and/or politicians make bizarre decisions that harm or ignore the rights of victims?

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