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 GRANDE PRAIRIE, November 3, 2016

Recent changes part of a larger trend to strip victims’ rights from criminal justice system

Justin Trudeau and the Liberals have ushered in a suite of changes to the criminal justice system that will undo years of work to support victims of crime and their families.

The previous Conservative Government introduced the Victims Bill of Rights, which gave victims the right to information, protection, participation during the trial process and, where possible, a right to restitution. The Conservatives also doubled the victims surcharge and made it mandatory, a fee on offenders to support victims of crime

These measures ensured that the rights of victims are placed ahead of the rights of criminals. But just over a week ago, the Liberal Justice Minister introduced legislation that would undo these changes.

The Trudeau Government has said that they will also allow doctors to prescribe heroin to addicted patients, permit the creation of new supervised injection sites, remove police representatives from judicial appointments panels, review mandatory minimum sentencing and lower the parole application fee for criminals.

Chris Warkentin, Member of Parliament for Grande Prairie–Mackenzie, is concerned that these changes show a Liberal government that is out of touch with regular Canadians, including families in the Peace Country.

“I strongly believe that our criminal justice system should work for the victims of crime and their families, ” Warkentin said. “The measures our Conservative Government created put victims of crime first, not criminals.”

“I am disturbed that Justin Trudeau is more concerned with making the lives of criminals and offenders easier than providing justice to victims of crime,” Warkentin added. “This government seems increasingly out of touch with the expectations and needs of victims and their families.”