These new measures, totalling $25 million over four years, build on and strengthen Canada's significant work to date to prevent, detect and prosecute human trafficking, such as targeted training for law enforcement officials and front-line service providers and enhanced public awareness measures.
Elder Abuse Initiative
In 2008, the Government of Canada launched the Federal Elder Abuse Initiative (FEAI), a successful $13 million, multi-departmental, three-year initiative to help seniors and others recognize the signs and symptoms of elder abuse and provide information on available supports. This initiative successfully concluded on March 31, 2011. Building on the momentum created through the FEAI, the Government remains active in addressing elder abuse through its elder abuse awareness campaigns and the New Horizons for Seniors Program.
The New Horizons for Seniors Program is designed to help ensure that seniors benefit from, and contribute to, the quality of life in their communities through social participation and active living. The program was expanded in 2007 to include elder abuse awareness activities. The elder abuse awareness objective of the program helps organizations develop national or regional education and awareness activities to reduce the incidence of abuse of seniors. Additional funds were announced in Budget 2010 for projects that focus on raising awareness of the financial abuse of seniors. In 2011, the Government increased its investments in the program by $5 million per year for two years, bringing the program's annual budget to $45 million. A portion of this funding will continue to support projects that expand awareness of elder abuse, including financial abuse.
JUSTICE SYSTEM EFFICIENCIES
Fair and Efficient Criminal Trials Act (Bill C-2) (Effective dates: August 15 and October 24, 2011)
This legislation ensures that "mega-trials," or large and complex cases involving illegal activities such as drug trafficking, white-collar crime, terrorism, organized crime or gang-related activity, can be heard more swiftly and effectively. The Fair and Efficient Criminal Trials Act will help improve Canada's justice system through stronger case management, reduced duplication of processes, and improved criminal procedure.
Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Criminal Procedure, Language of the Accused, Sentencing and Other Amendments) (Bill C-13) (Effective date: October 1, 2008)
This legislation included:
-- improving court-related language rights provisions;-- making non-communication orders more easily available so that victims of crime can be better protected from unwanted communications from offenders serving a jail term;-- clarifying penalties for impaired driving offences;-- increasing the maximum fine for less-serious offences (summary convictions) from $2,000 to $5,000 (the amount had not been updated in more than 20 years);-- clarifying and codifying the current state of the law with respect to the language of trial provisions; and-- creating a more efficient process for executing out-of-province search warrants.
Backgrounder: Sexual Offending Against Children and Youth
This fact sheet highlights some of the publicly available research on the prevalence and nature of sexual offending against children and youth in Canada.
The exact prevalence of sexual offences against children in Canada is unknown. The reasons for this are many, including that sexual offences are among the most underreported crimes in Canada, with an estimated 88% of sexual assaults not reported to police in 2009.(1)