Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to supporting victims of crime, particularly the most vulnerable among us: our children.
Today the Minister of Justice, along with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, announced funding of $5.25 million for the creation and enhancement of child advocacy centres to help better serve young victims and witnesses of crime.
Child advocacy centres aim to minimize the trauma of being a child victim of crime. These advocacy centres are a collaborative team of professionals who work in a child-friendly setting to help a child victim or witness navigate the criminal justice system.
The work of the advocacy centre staff greatly reduces the emotional and mental harm to the child, and their approach often improves the quality of evidence brought forward in trials. Better evidence can lead to more charges laid, a higher rate of guilty pleas and convictions, and more appropriate sentences.
I would like my hon. colleagues to join me in congratulating our government for this encouraging announcement.