Victims Bill of Rights coming in 'next few days'
Defence Minister Peter MacKay speaks during question period in the House of Commons.
The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, March 30, 2014 7:01PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, March 30, 2014 7:07PM EDT
OTTAWA -- A long-promised victim's bill of rights is about to be introduced in Parliament, driving another potential political lightning rod into the already fractured ground in the House of Commons.
Justice Minister Peter MacKay, in a letter to the Conservative caucus on Sunday, said he looks forward to delivering on the throne speech commitment "over the next few days."
The letter was obtained by The Canadian Press and the introduction of the legislation is bound to turn up the heat with the Opposition, which has been consumed by the fight against the Harper government's proposed electoral reforms.
The proposal, when it appeared in last fall's speech opening the new session of Parliament, drew a swift response from legal advocates, notably the John Howard Society which described the notion as a return to "medieval" justice and a distraction from the real problems facing the system.
MacKay, in an interview last fall, said the government's intention is to extend the involvement of victims "from the time of the offence to the final disposition of the sentence."
He said the government doesn't want them to be just another Crown witness, but an effective voice.