April 10, 2017

Province Strengthens Support for Victims of Crime and Violence

Government today introduced and passed legislation to support individuals fleeing interpersonal violence and families of victims of crime.

The Victims of Interpersonal Violence Act and The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 will be amended to allow a tenant to end a fixed-term rental agreement with 28 days’ notice if they or their family members are being abused by another resident or former resident.

“These amendments will provide a way out for someone living in a violent domestic situation,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said.  “The fact that an individual has signed, for example, a year-long lease will no longer factor into their decision to leave."

The amendments bring Saskatchewan in line with some other Canadian jurisdictions, including Alberta who passed similar legislation last year.

The ministry is also amending The Victims of Crime Act, 1995 to expand compensation for counselling costs to include parents, siblings, and adult children of adult victims who have died as a result of violent crime.

“The Government of Saskatchewan remains committed to ensuring that victims of violent crime and their family members receive the support they need,” Wyant said.  “Right now, we are not able to compensate these family members for counselling that is so crucial following a traumatic event.  That needs to change.”

The legislation previously limited compensation for counselling to the spouse or children of an adult victim and the parent or sibling of a child victim.

Recognizing that Saskatchewan has the highest rate of domestic violence in Canada, the province will continue to explore options to help address this serious issue.