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An Act to Amend the Victims Services Act

Legislature :
55
Session :
2
Bill No. :
40
Member :
Hon. Steeves
First Reading :
2005-4-28
Second Reading :
2005-4-29
Committee of the Whole :
2005-6-22
Amended :
Third Reading :
2005-6-28
Royal Assent :
2005-6-30
Download PDF :
Bill 40

Text of Bill :
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, enacts as follows:



1                           Section 1 of the Victims Services Act, chapter V-2.1 of the Acts of New Brunswick, 1987, is repealed and the following is substituted:



1                           The following definitions apply in this Act.



"accused" means an accused in respect of whom a verdict of not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder has been rendered under the Criminal Code (Canada). (accusé)



"correctional institution" means a correctional institution as defined in the Corrections Act. (établissement de correction)



"criminal justice process" means the judicial proceedings under any Act of Parliament or the Legislature used to deal with a person who is alleged to have committed an offence and includes extrajudicial measures. (processus de justice pénale)



"extrajudicial measures" means measures other than judicial proceedings under any Act of Parliament or the Legislature used to deal with a person who is alleged to have committed an offence and includes extrajudicial sanctions and alternative measures. (mesures extrajudiciaires)



"fine" includes any penalty payable in money. (amende)



"fund" means the Victims Services Fund established under section 17. (Fonds)



"Minister" means the Minister of Public Safety. (ministre)



"offender" means a person sentenced to a term of imprisonment in a correctional institution or a young person sentenced under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada) to serve the custodial portion of a custody and supervision order in a place of secure custody. (délinquant)



"place of secure custody" means a place of secure custody as defined in the Custody and Detention of Young Persons Act. (endroit de garde en milieu fermé)



"psychiatric facility" means a hospital as defined in section 672.1 of the Criminal Code (Canada) or a hospital as defined in subsection 141(11) of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada), as the case may be. (établissement psychiatrique)



2                           Section 2 of the Act is repealed and the following is substituted:



2                           Victims of crime should be treated with courtesy, compassion and respect.



3                           Section 3 of the Act is repealed and the following is substituted:



3                           The privacy of victims of crime should be considered and respected to the greatest extent possible.



4                           Section 4 of the Act is repealed and the following is substituted:



4                           All reasonable measures should be taken to minimize inconvenience to victims of crime.



5                           Section 5 of the Act is repealed and the following is substituted:



5                           The safety and security of victims of crime should be considered at all stages of the criminal justice process, and appropriate measures should be taken when necessary to protect victims of crime from intimidation and retaliation.



6                           Section 6 of the Act is repealed and the following is substituted:



6                           Information should be provided to victims of crime about the criminal justice system and the victim of crime's role and opportunities to participate in criminal justice processes.



7                           Section 7 of the Act is repealed and the following is substituted:



7                           Victims of crime should be given information, in accordance with prevailing law, policies and procedures, about the status of the investigation, the scheduling, progress and outcome of the proceedings, and the status of the offender in the correctional system.



8                           The Act is amended by adding after section 7 the following:



7.1                      Information should be provided to victims of crime about available victim assistance services, other programs and assistance available to them, and means of obtaining financial reparation.



7.2                      The views, concerns and representations of victims of crime are an important consideration in criminal justice processes and should be considered in accordance with prevailing law, policies and procedures.



7.3                      The needs, concerns and diversity of victims of crime should be considered in the development and delivery of programs and services, and in related education and training.



7.4                      Information should be provided to victims of crime about available options to raise their concerns when they believe that these principles have not been followed.



DISCLOSURE

7.5                      At the request in writing of a victim of crime, the Minister shall disclose to the victim of crime the following information if, in the Minister's opinion, it is reasonable and practicable to do so and the interest of the victim of crime in such disclosure clearly outweighs any invasion of the accused's or offender's privacy that could result from the disclosure:



(a)               with respect to an accused:



(i)         the name of the accused;



(ii)       the date of any hearing held by the Review Board established or designated in New Brunswick under subsection 672.38(1) of the Criminal Code (Canada);



(iii)    the date of any disposition hearing held by the court under section 672.45 of the Criminal Code (Canada);



(iv)      any disposition of the court or Review Board under section 672.54 of the Criminal Code (Canada);



(v)       the location of the psychiatric facility in which the accused is detained; and



(vi)      the death of an accused who is detained in a psychiatric facility; and



(b)               with respect to an offender:



(i)         the name of the offender;



(ii)       the date of expiration of the sentence of imprisonment that is served in a correctional institution or the date of expiration of the custodial portion of a custody and supervision order that is served in a place of secure custody;



(iii)    the escape of the offender from a correctional institution or a place of secure custody, or the offender's otherwise being unlawfully at large, and his or her recapture;



(iv)      the granting of a temporary absence from a correctional institution without escort or the authorization of a reintegration leave from a place of secure custody without escort; and



(v)       the death of the offender who is detained in a correctional institution or a place of secure custody.



9                           The heading "VICTIMS SERVICES COMMITTEE" preceding section 8 of the Act is repealed.



10                        Section 8 of the Act is repealed.



11                        Section 9 of the Act is repealed.



12                        Section 10 of the Act is repealed.



13                        Section 11 of the Act is repealed.



14                        Section 12 of the Act is repealed.



15                        Section 13 of the Act is repealed.



16                        Section 14 of the Act is repealed.



17                        Section 15 of the Act is repealed.



18                        Section 16 of the Act is repealed.



19                        Section 17 of the Act is amended by striking out "sections 18 and 19" and substituting "sections 18, 18.1, 18.2 and 19".



20                        Paragraph 18(1)(b) of the Act is repealed and the following is substituted:



(b)               makes a payment under any Act of the Legislature or any regulation under such Act, on which payment the person is deemed to have been convicted of an offence, or



21                        The Act is amended by adding after section 18 the following:



18.1                  Money collected in New Brunswick from victim surcharges paid under the Criminal Code (Canada) or victim fine surcharges paid under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada) that is directed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council to be paid into the fund under section 737 of the Criminal Code (Canada) or section 53 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada), as the case may be, shall be deposited into the fund.



18.2                  Money donated through the criminal justice process for the purpose of assisting victims of crime shall be deposited into the fund.



22                        Subsection 20(2) of the Act is repealed and the following is substituted:



20(2)               The fund shall be administered by the Minister and shall be held in trust for the purposes of this Act in a separate account in the Consolidated Fund.



23                        Section 22 of the Act is repealed and the following is substituted:



22(1)               A person, organization or institution may submit to the Minister an application for a grant from the fund for the provision and funding of research and services relating to victims of crime.



22(2)               An applicant for a grant from the fund under subsection (1) or a recipient of such grant shall submit such reports, contracts, documents or information related to the application or the receipt of the grant as the Minister considers appropriate.



24                        Section 24 of the Act is amended



(a)               in the portion preceding paragraph a) of the French version by striking out "Ministre" and substituting "ministre";



(b)               in paragraph a.1) of the French version by striking out "victimes de crimes" and substituting "victimes d'actes criminels";



(c)               in paragraph (c) by adding "and" at the end of the paragraph;



(d)               by repealing paragraph (d);



(e)               in paragraph e) of the French version by striking out "Ministre" and substituting "ministre".



25                        Section 26 of the Act is amended



(a)               in subsection (1)



(i)         in the portion preceding subparagraph c)(i) of the French version by striking out "victimes de crimes" and substituting "victimes d'actes criminels";



(ii)       in subparagraph c)(viii) of the French version by striking out "Ministre" and substituting "ministre";



(iii)    by repealing paragraph (d) and substituting the following:



(d)               defining any word or expression used in this Act but not defined in this Act for the purposes of this Act, the regulations or both;



(b)               by repealing subsection (2) and substituting the following:



26(2)               A regulation under paragraph (1)(c) and (d) may be retroactive to any date, including a date before the commencement of this section.



Transitional provisions

26(1)               The Victims Services Committee is terminated.



26(2)               All appointments or designations of persons as chairperson, vice-chairperson or members of the Victims Services Committee are revoked.



26(3)               All contracts, agreements and orders relating to the amount of remuneration to be paid to the chairperson, vice-chairperson or members of the Victims Services Committee are null and void.



26(4)               Notwithstanding the provisions of any contract, agreement or order, no remuneration shall be paid to the chairperson, vice-chairperson or members of the Victims Services Committee.



26(5)               No action, application or other proceeding lies or shall be instituted against the Minister of Public Safety or the Crown in right of the Province as a result of the termination of the Victims Service Committee under subsection (1) or the revocation of appointments or designations under subsection (2).



Commencement

27                        This Act or any provision of it comes into force on a day or days to be fixed by proclamation.



EXPLANATORY NOTES



Section 1



The existing provision is as follows:



1                           In this Act



"Committee" means the Victims Services Committee established by section 8;



"fine" includes any penalty payable in money;



"fund" means the Victims Services Fund established by section 17;



"Minister" means the Minister of Public Safety.



Section 2



The existing provision is as follows:



2                           Victims should be treated with courtesy and compassion and with respect for their dignity and privacy and should suffer the minimum of necessary inconvenience from their involvement with the criminal justice system.



Section 3



The existing provision is as follows:



3(1)                   Information about remedies and the mechanisms to obtain remedies should be made available to victims.



3(2)                   Information should be made available to victims about their participation in criminal proceedings and about the scheduling procedure and ultimate disposition of criminal proceedings.



Section 4



The existing provision is as follows:



4(1)                   The views and concerns of victims should be ascertained and appropriate assistance should be provided to them throughout the criminal process.



4(2)                   Where the personal interests of the victims are affected, the views or concerns of the victims should be brought to the attention of the court where appropriate and consistent with criminal law and procedure.



Section 5



The existing provision is as follows:



5                           Enhanced training should be made available to sensitize criminal justice personnel to the needs and concerns of victims and guidelines should be developed, where appropriate, for this purpose.



Section 6



The existing provision is as follows:



6                           Victims should be informed of the availability of health and social services and other relevant assistance so that they might obtain the necessary medical, psychological and social assistance through existing programs and services.



Section 7



The existing provision is as follows:



7                           Victims should report crimes and cooperate with law enforcement authorities.



Section 8



New provisions.



Section 9



A heading is repealed. The amendment is consequential on the amendments made in sections 10 to 18 of the amending Act.



Section 10



The existing provision is as follows:



8                           There is hereby established a committee to be known as the Victims Services Committee which shall consist of not fewer than five members to be appointed by the Minister.



Section 11



The existing provision is as follows:



9(1)                   A member shall be appointed to the Committee for a term not to exceed three years and may be re-appointed for one or more terms not to exceed three years each.



9(2)                   Where the term of a member expires, the member shall continue to serve until reappointed or replaced.



Section 12



The existing provision is as follows:



10                        The Minister shall designate one of the members as chairperson of the Committee and another member as vice-chairperson.



Section 13



The existing provision is as follows:



11(1)               The Committee shall be guided by and shall promote the principles set out in this Act.



11(2)               The Committee may determine whether or not a person or a class of persons is a victim for the purposes of this Act.



11(3)               Notwithstanding subsection (2), no person or class of persons is a victim for the purposes of receiving services provided under this Act unless the act or omission which would make the person or class of persons eligible to receive such services occurs after the commencement of this Act.



Section 14



The existing provision is as follows:



12(1)               The Committee may receive from any person, organization or institution applications and submissions relating to



(a)               the needs and concerns of victims,



(b)               the promotion and delivery of victims services,



(c)                research into victims services, needs and concerns,



(d)               distribution of information respecting victims services, needs and concerns, and



(e)                the provision and funding for research and services relating to victims.



12(2)               The Committee shall make recommendations to the Minister on the use of the fund and may make recommendations relating to



(a)               the development of policies respecting victims services, and



(b)               any other matter within the scope of the principles set out in this Act that the Minister refers to the Committee for its recommendation.



12(3)               The Committee may require an applicant for funding under section 22 or a recipient of such funding to submit to the Committee such reports, contracts, documents or information related to the application or the receipt of funds as the Committee considers appropriate.



12(4)               The Committee shall review the operation, development and cost of victims services and research projects for which money from the fund is being received or sought.



Section 15



The existing provision is as follows:



13                        The Committee shall promote research into and the distribution of information about victims services, needs and concerns.



Section 16



The existing provision is as follows:



14                        The Committee shall work with prosecutors and with law enforcement agencies, courts, social agencies and other organizations able to serve victims in order to assist them in developing guidelines that promote the principles set out in this Act and that relate to their activities.



Section 17



The existing provision is as follows:



15(1)               The Committee shall, within two months after the end of every fiscal year of the Province, make a report to the Minister on the activities of the Committee for that fiscal year.



15(2)               The Minister shall lay a copy of the report of the Committee before the Legislative Assembly if it is then sitting or if not, at the next ensuing sitting.



Section 18



The existing provision is as follows:



16                        A member of the Committee who is associated with an applicant for funding under this Act shall disclose that association and thereafter may vote on any question relating to the proposed recommendation by the Committee unless the member has a direct pecuniary interest in the grant.



Section 19



The amendment is consequential on the amendment made in section 21 of the amending Act. The existing provision is as follows:



17                        There is established a fund to be known as the Victims Services Fund and the fund shall be constituted from the money received under sections 18 and 19.



Section 20



The existing provision is as follows:



18(1)               Subject to subsection (3), where a person…



(b)               makes a payment under section 357 of the Motor Vehicle Act or any other provision of that or any other Act of the Legislature or any regulation under such Act, on which payment the person is deemed to have been convicted of an offence, or



Section 21



New provisions.



Section 22



The existing provision is as follows:



20(2)               The fund shall be administered by the Minister of Public Safety and shall be held in trust for the purposes of this Act in a separate account in the Consolidated Fund.



Section 23



The existing provision is as follows:



22                        A person, organization or institution may make an application for a grant from the fund for the provision and funding of research and services relating to victims and the application shall be submitted to the Committee for a recommendation as to whether the grant should be made.



Section 24



(a)               A correction is made in the French version.



(b)               A correction is made in the French version. The amendment is consequential on the amendment made in sections 2 to 8 of the amending Act.



(c)                The amendment is consequential on the amendment made in paragraph 24(d) of the amending Act.



(d)               The existing provision is as follows:



24                        Subject to any trust conditions under which money is received into the fund, the Minister, or a person designated by him, may authorize expenditures from the fund for…



(d)               remuneration of members of the Committee for their services and for reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred on behalf of the Committee, and



(e)                A correction is made in the French version.



Section 25



(a)(i)         A correction is made in the French version. The amendment is consequential on the amendment made in sections 2 to 8 of the amending Act.



(a)(ii)       A correction is made in the French version.



(a)(iii)      The existing provision is as follows:



26(1)               The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations…



(d)               defining any word used in this Act but not defined in this Act;



(b)               The existing provision is as follows:



26(2)               Subject to subsection 11(3), a regulation under paragraph (1)(c) and (d) may be retroactive to any date, including a date before the commencement of this section.



Section 26



Transitional provisions.



Section 27



Commencement provision.

 

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