Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Barrel of Fish with all the Shooting

Dueling press releases.

Attorney General To Overhaul Victim Services, Ontario Liberal Party press release:
In the longer term and as recommended by the Ombudsman, [Attorney General Michael] Bryant will overhaul the current compensation system. The Attorney General will appoint an independent expert to hold meaningful, thorough and broad-based consultations on a proposed new framework with victims' organizations and communities.

Ombudsman Finds Ontario Broke its Promise to Crime Victims, Ministry of Attorney General Acting Contrary to Law, Ombudsman Ontario press release:

But governments have been unable or unwilling to act, and "have chosen to watch with eyes wide shut as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board has degenerated into the failed institution it is," Mr. Marin says. "Instead, governments, including the current one, have chosen the oldest delay strategy known to bureaucracy - pretending to act by studying the thing to death."

Emphasis mine.

Ontario Liberal Party press release:

"I want to thank Ombudsman André Marin and his staff for their work on this important issue," said Bryant. "We share the view that the current compensation system for victims of violent crime requires immediate action. I am committed to making changes to ensure the government better responds to the needs of victims in a timely and compassionate manner."

Ombudsman's release:

While the Board has serious systemic problems of its own, the primary responsibility for this "colossal failure" lies with the Government of Ontario, Mr. Marin says, "because it has, through its Ministry of the Attorney General, developed a culture that is unsupportive of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, and because it has made promises in the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act which have not been kept.

Emphasis mine.

Ontario Liberal Party press release:

In 2006-07, the government allocated an additional $5.2 million to the board over and above its current budget to assist with claims-related costs. The board's budget makes up approximately 22 per cent of planned spending on victim services. It is part of an ever-growing network of victims' programs and services across Ontario.

Ombudsman's release:

"The Ministry of the Attorney General is acting contrary to the law and interfering with the Board's autonomy by limiting the money available to the Board to fund its awards."

Good night, folks.

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