Horne proposes victims’ rights bill

The territory is preparing a new law to help victims of crime, Justice Minister Marian Horne announced Thursday. The law would serve as a "bill of rights" for victims, said Horne.

The territory is preparing a new law to help victims of crime, Justice Minister Marian Horne announced Thursday.

The law would serve as a “bill of rights” for victims, said Horne. Among other things, it would ensure victims are aware of when abusers are released from prison, put on parole, or during temporary absences.

The law would also “codify” relationships between the department and other agencies, such as the RCMP, to ensure the smooth flow of information, said spokesperson Dan Cable.

The Yukon is the only jurisdiction in Canada without such a law, said Horne.

A draft law is to be released for public consultation this autumn, she said. Legislation would be tabled in the legislature in the spring of 2010 at the earliest, she said.

The draft law is Horne’s “number one” priority of tasks described in “Moving forward together: a victims of crime strategy,” released Thursday.

The 12-page paper is pretty thin gruel. It mostly promises that the Justice Department will continue to do what it’s already doing.

But, aside from the victims-of-crime law, it proposes the Justice Department produce two new pilot projects.

One, aimed at “higher-risk offenders,” would “include a focus on the victim’s needs, safety and voice in the case management process.”

This support “could be anything,” said Cable.

“It could be housing. It could be sufficient money to feed them,” he said.

The other, a “family reconciliation pilot program,” aims to help victims who have returned to living with their abusers.

Horne acknowledged that victims in rural communities sometimes face pressure to not report spousal abuse to police, but she said that partnerships with First Nations and other types of community outreach could improve the situation.

“There’s something wrong. That’s why we’re working on the strategy,” said Horne.

There’s no quick solution to these problems, said Leah White, co-ordinator for victim services, but “we can offer support.”

Yukon’s violent-crime rate is more than one and a half times that found in Saskatchewan, which ranks as Canada’s most violent province, according to a 2006 Statistics Canada study. Nine per cent of Yukoners reported themselves to be victims of spousal abuse in the study.

However, the territory’s violent-crime rate remains less than half of that found in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Justice’s new strategy will be used to create an implementation plan. It’s unclear when the plan will be released.

“We’ll have more information on this in the fall,” said Cable.

Contact John Thompson at

johnt@yukon-news.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Team Yukon skip Laura Eby, left, directs her team as Team Northern Ontario skip Krysta Burns looks on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Feb. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Team Yukon reports positive experience at Scotties

Team Yukon played their final game at the national championship in Calgary on Thursday afternoon

A sign indicating a drop-off area behind Selkirk Elementary school in Whitehorse on Feb. 25. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Parking lot proposal for Selkirk Elementary criticized

Parents and school council are raising concerns about green space and traffic woes

adsf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 26, 2021

Ken Anderson’s Sun and Moon model sculpture sits in the snow as he carves away at the real life sculpture behind Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre for the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous festival in Whitehorse on Feb. 21, 2018. Yukon Rendezvous weekend kicks off today with a series of outdoor, virtual and staged events. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Rendezvous snowpad, live music and fireworks this weekend

A round-up of events taking place for the 2021 Rendezvous weekend

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. The proposed Atlin Hydro Expansion project is moving closer to development with a number of milestones reached by the Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership and Yukon Energy over the last several months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Atlin hydro project progresses

Officials reflect on milestones reached

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read