Crime victims deserve better

Victim services programs already exist in all Canadian provinces and territories

Editor, The Times:

Cathy McLeod’s latest mailer arrived in my mailbox a couple of days ago, aimed at promoting the proposed Canadian Victims Bill Of Rights.

As I see it, the Harper government is using this bill mainly to score political points, exploiting the public’s natural sympathy for victims of crime. Harper’s new bill is actually more about positioning the Conservative Party for next year’s federal election. Ms McLeod is just repeating her party’s line pretty much word for word.

If you think that I am being cynical, read the bill for yourself. The fact is that victim services programs already exist in all Canadian provinces and territories. Any new bill to help victims of crime should provide increased funding for these existing services, as well as include new measures to reduce the worsening backlogs which so often delay trials. Harper’s new bill has no commitment to funding, and it will likely add to courtroom delays, not reduce them.

Victims of crime absolutely deserve more support. But this bill won’t provide the kind of assistance that really counts, no matter what Cathy McLeod’s taxpayer-funded pamphlet says. This message, just like the messages in all of her home mailers, simply promotes the Harper brand. Victims of crime deserve more than that.

Murray Dickson

Kamloops, B.C.