EDMONTON, AB: Yesterday, Wildrose Shadow Justice Minister Scott Cyr released the following statement concerning the Auditor General’s review of the Justice Department’s ability to manage the Victims of Crime Fund (VOCF) and to follow the mandate that governs the fund:
“I am incredibly disappointed by some of the key findings of the Auditor General’s examination of the VOCF.
“Without a proper business plan and measurable results for the fund, victims are not getting the supports that they deserve.
“Wildrose was the first party to bring forward the issue of uncontrolled reserves accumulating in the VOCF at Budget Estimates in fall 2015, and will continue to push Minister Ganley to enact a comprehensive fund management strategy, including what should be done with surplus funds, an area that to date is sorely lacking.
“Only Wildrose is committed to putting the rights of victims above criminals. In the past, Wildrose has advocated for surplus funds of the VOCF to be allocated towards other restorative justice projects, including the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre.
“Alberta has almost 170 victims’ services organizations, so there is no excuse for not connecting available funds with victims of crime when there are many willing partners with a mandate of assisting victims of crime.
“We maintain that Legal Aid would not be the appropriate vehicle for this surplus funding, as it is a tool for defendants, not victims of crime.
“I will be closely monitoring the progress made by the Justice Department to ensure the VOCF is used appropriately as a tool to assist victimized Albertans.”