May 13, 2014 12:00 pm

Ombudsman urges Tories to strengthen new victims bill of rights

ABOVE: Does the victims bill of rights go far enough? The federal ombudsman doesn’t think so. 

OTTAWA – The federal ombudsman for crime victims says the Harper government’s proposed victims bill of rights should be strengthened.

Sue O’Sullivan says the present legislation is welcome, but a few well-chosen amendments before it becomes law could do more to help people affected by crime.

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READ MORE: Harper unveils victims’ rights bill

She says, for instance, that the bill leaves it to victims to enforce restitution orders made by the courts.

O’Sullivan argues that restitution orders are part of a criminal’s sentence and should be enforced by the authorities, not by victims going to civil court.

READ MORE: Feds conduct cross-country consultation on Victims’ Bill of Rights

She also says victims should have a general right to attend parole hearings.

Bill C-32 was introduced in the Commons in April.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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