Victims left short by program changes: Ontario critics

People working on the front lines to support victims of crime say Ontario’s changes to support programs will rob some victims some of vital counselling and “life-changing” funding.

The government has scrapped the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and the Financial Assistance for Families of Homicide Victims program. The deadline for applications to each is Sept. 30.

Replacing the board is the Victim Quick Response Program, dubbed VQRP+.

But a local victim and those working with others like her say there will be a net decrease in support.

“It’s so disheartening and infuriating,” said one woman, a survivor of childhood sex abuse.

The ruling by the compensation board has helped her to to pay bills and continue her recovery, she said, and she’s concerned other victims may not have the same chance. If she were to have applied after this month’s deadline, she said, “I wouldn’t have qualified.”

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