INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION
This section mandates that victim surcharges be used to provide assistance to victims of offences according to the direction of the lieutenant governor in council of the respective province.
737(7) A victim surcharge imposed under subsection (1) shall be applied for the purposes of providing such assistance to victims of offences as the lieutenant governor in council of the province in which the surcharge is imposed may direct from time to time.
Section 737(7) of the Criminal Code of Canada pertains to the imposition of a victim surcharge. The victim surcharge is a mandatory financial penalty that is added to a convicted offender's sentence and is used to provide assistance to the victims of crimes. The amount of the victim surcharge is determined by the sentencing judge and is based on the gravity of the offence committed by the offender. The purpose of the victim surcharge is to acknowledge the harm done to the victim of the crime and to provide them with some form of restitution for the impact that the crime has had on their lives. The funds raised from the victim surcharge are intended to be used for providing assistance to victims of criminal offences. The lieutenant governor in council of the province in which the surcharge is imposed has the authority to direct the use of the funds raised from the victim surcharge. This means that the funds may be used to support programs and services that provide assistance to victims of crime, such as counseling, shelter, and legal services. The victim surcharge is an important component of Canada's criminal justice system as it recognizes the rights of victims and provides a means for them to receive some form of compensation for the harm they have suffered. By directing the use of the funds raised from the victim surcharge, the provincial government can ensure that victims of crime receive the necessary assistance and support to help them cope and recover from the impact of the crime committed against them. Overall, section 737(7) of the Criminal Code of Canada serves as a reminder that the criminal justice system is not only concerned with punishing offenders but also with supporting victims and promoting justice for all.
Section 737(7) of the Criminal Code of Canada establishes the purpose of victim surcharges imposed under subsection (1). It expresses that the surcharge is meant to provide assistance to victims of offences and that the lieutenant governor in council of the province where the surcharge is imposed decides how the funds will be used. Although this section of the code seems straightforward, it has been a source of controversy in recent years. Victim surcharges were introduced in Canada in 1988 as a way to hold offenders accountable for the harm they caused and to provide financial support to victims of crimes. Initially, the surcharges were relatively low and were only imposed if the offender could afford to pay them. However, over time, the surcharges increased, and they became mandatory, regardless of the offender's financial situation. Consequently, victim surcharges have become a contentious topic, with critics arguing that they disproportionately impact low-income offenders and do not provide adequate support to victims. One of the main issues with victim surcharges is that they are mandatory. This means that even if an offender is unable to pay the surcharge, they may still be subject to additional consequences, such as additional fines or jail time. This has led to a situation where low-income offenders are especially burdened by victim surcharges, as they may be unable to pay them but are subject to additional penalties if they do not. Moreover, the way in which victim surcharge funds are used has also been criticized. Section 737(7) states that the lieutenant governor in council of the province where the surcharge is imposed decides how the funds will be used. This means that the funds may not necessarily be used to directly support victims of crimes, but instead may be used for other purposes. Critics argue that this makes victim surcharges a less effective means of supporting victims and instead diverts resources away from them. In 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the mandatory victim surcharge was unconstitutional because it violated the Charter rights of low-income offenders. However, the ruling did not eliminate the surcharge entirely, but rather allowed judges to waive the surcharge if they determined that it would cause undue hardship to the offender or their dependents. Additionally, the decision did not address the issue of how victim surcharge funds are used. In conclusion, section 737(7) of the Criminal Code of Canada establishes the purpose of victim surcharges as providing assistance to victims of crimes, but it has been a controversial topic due to the mandatory nature of the surcharges and the way in which funds are used. Until a more comprehensive solution is implemented, victim surcharges will continue to be a contentious issue in Canada's justice system.
Section 737(7) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a legislation that requires the imposition of a victim surcharge on offenders as a means of providing assistance to victims of criminal offences. The surcharge is intended to address the needs of victims and help them cope with the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of being victimized. However, the implementation of this legislation raises various strategic considerations that need to be addressed by authorities. One strategic consideration is the issue of funding. While the legislation requires that the surcharge be applied for the purpose of providing assistance to victims of offences, the amount generated from the surcharge may not always be adequate to address the needs of victims. Therefore, a strategic approach would be for authorities to ensure that adequate funding is allocated towards victim services to supplement the funds generated from the victim surcharge. Such an approach would ensure that the needs of victims are fully met, and they are adequately supported throughout the justice process. Another strategic consideration is the issue of accessibility. While the legislation requires that the surcharge be directed towards helping victims, there may be instances where victims may not be aware of available services or have difficulty accessing such services. Therefore, a strategic approach would be to ensure that the information on available victim services is provided in a clear and accessible manner to ensure that all victims have equal access to the support they need. Another strategy that authorities can employ is to ensure that victim surcharge funds are directed towards specific programs that address the needs of victims. This approach would ensure that assistance provided to victims is targeted towards areas where there are most pressing needs. For example, funds can be directed towards counselling services, legal representation, or victim compensation programs, among other areas. Furthermore, authorities could consider collaborating with community-based organizations and non-governmental organizations to provide victim services. These organizations are often well-placed to provide assistance to victims, and their involvement would help to widen the scope of available support services. Such an approach would allow authorities to leverage the expertise of these organizations to provide tailored services that meet the needs of victims. In conclusion, the implementation of Section 737(7) of the Criminal Code of Canada requires careful consideration of various strategic issues to ensure that the needs of victims are met effectively. Key considerations include the allocation of adequate funding towards victim services, improving accessibility to these services, targeting specific programs to address pressing needs, and collaborating with relevant organizations to provide tailored support. A strategic approach that addresses these considerations would ultimately help to ensure that victims of criminal offences in Canada receive the support they need to cope and recover.