Federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay was in Whitehorse on Wednesday, meeting with victims of crime and local justice advocates. The meeting was part of a national round-table series MacKay is holding to gather input for the government’s proposed new Victims Bill of Rights legislation.
MacKay also held a press conference on Wednesday, but no reporters showed up because they were unaware that it was happening. According to MacKay’s press secretary, there was a technical problem in his department’s communications system, and press releases did not reach local media.
Instead, Paloma Aguilar offered to answer questions about MacKay’s visit via email.
Aguilar couldn’t say exactly who MacKay had met with in Whitehorse because of the sensitive nature of the discussions.
She said that the government hopes to create a system where all Canadian crime victims feel safe while dealing with the justice system.
“Minister MacKay has heard quite regularly from victims that there are common themes letting them down – failure to receive information in a timely fashion, to be consulted in a meaningful way, to truly emerge at the other end of what is sometimes and too often a very onerous, a very intimidating justice system,” Aguilar said in an email.
Once he is finished his consultations, MacKay hopes to present the draft legislation to Parliament this fall, Aguilar said.