Brief by the Québec Ombudsman on Bill 84
On January 21, 2021, Québec Ombudsperson Marie Rinfret sent the Committee on Institutions a brief on Bill 84, Act to assist persons who are victims of criminal offences and to facilitate their recovery.
The Ombudsperson applauds this bill which includes gains in matters of compensation for crime victims. Some improvements are consistent with recommendations by the Québec Ombudsman. However, Ms. Rinfret feels that there should be provisions for other changes to the compensation system. She therefore made nine recommendations to the Committee on Institutions in order to:
- Remove gross fault as a ground for exclusion for specific cases of violence;
- Under certain conditions, approve victims’ claims for compensation even if they are filed outside the deadline;
- Review certain conditions regarding compensation for permanent sequelae;
- Maintain financial assistance compensating a loss of income until the victim’s condition is stable;
- Specify the time limit for contesting a decision before the Tribunal administratif du Québec;
- Provide for the possibility of advanced payment in the case of permanent sequelae;
- Broaden financial assistance for lost income to cover more victim categories;
- Add "real" Québec Pension Plan contributions to the compensation system.