NEWS: NDP Bill fast tracks compensation for crime victims

OTTAWA – NDP MP Peter Julian (Burnaby-New Westminster) tabled a Private Member’s Bill today that will amend the Criminal Code so that compensation in certain cases is immediately awarded to victims of crime.

“The Criminal Code is designed to only enforce guilt and punishment, not restitution,” Julian said. “However, there are certain instances when it can be used to award victims rather than only punish criminals. The purpose of this bill is to accelerate the process of restitution.”

Section 738 of the Criminal Code currently states that judges “may” grant compensation or restitution if certain conditions are met. The bill proposes to replace “may” with “shall” so that the system can provide immediate help victims who meet the conditions. This change will also take away the burden of victims having to go through the onerous and lengthy civil court process.

“This bill can go a long way to help the most vulnerable of our society, like seniors who may have to go through a very costly and lengthy process just to gain justice and restitution,” Julian said. “But it will also help victims of property destruction, fraud, or an accident to receive payment for their losses.”