Victim Services Fund
Res #: 21-10A
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice
WHEREAS major crime is becoming more and more frequent in rural Saskatchewan;
WHEREAS there is a deficit of available officers to police rural Saskatchewan and provide services to victims of crime;
WHEREAS police-based programs are available for these people under the Victims Services Branch which would allow the RCMP to continue to better serve the public good while offering victims needed aid; and
WHEREAS programs and services administered by the Victims Services Branch are funded by the Victim’s Fund which is comprised of revenue generated by fines and surcharges and does not have sufficient revenue to allow these services to be expanded;
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Provincial Government to fully fund the Victim Services Fund so that the Victims Services Branch may expand their programming to include rural Saskatchewan.
Response from Honourable Don Morgan, Q.C., Minister of Justice and Attorney General:
Where Resolution No. 21 – 10A is concerned, the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General supports a range of programs and services for victims of crime, including police-based victim services. There are now 18 police-based victim services programs available to approximately 87 per cent of the province’s population .
While much progress has been made through gradual expansion since Saskatchewan’s Victims Services program began in 1992, 34 police jurisdictions do not yet have access to police-based victim services programming.
Services for victims of crime are a priority for this government. Programs and services are supported from the Victims’ Fund, which consists primarily of revenue from provincial and federal surcharges paid by offenders. In 2008, the Government of Saskatchewan increased the victim surcharge on provincial offences to help ensure the stability of the Victims’ Fund and the many programs and services that it supports.
Despite this surcharge increase, sufficient resources are not yet available in the Victims’ Fund to support expansion of police-based victim services programming.