The Ontario budget, released in April 2019, proposes to dissolve the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) and move from hearings to an “administrative” model. The budget also proposes to significantly reduce the maximum amount payable for pain and suffering from $25,000.00 to $5,000.00. While those with receipts for therapy or a provable loss of income claim, for example, may be entitled to receive additional amounts, those who are only seeking pain and suffering compensation, will be limited to $5,000.00 under the proposed changes.
The CICB is a payor of last resort. Car accident victims injured at the hands of a drunk driver, for example, have compensation available to them through the automobile insurance system. Victims of historical sexual abuse by institutions such as the Church have compensation available to them through those institutions. Those who go to the CICB seeking compensation have nowhere else to turn. Applicants include women who have been injured during a domestic assault or ongoing abuse by their partner, individuals who were abused, sexually or physically, as children by adults in their lives, victims of gun violence, and victims of human trafficking. Two thirds of applicants are women, according to the CICB (https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2019/04/18/ontario-budget-cuts-millions-in-compensation-to-victims-of-violent-crime-advocates-say.html).
This unfortunate change proposed by Doug Ford’s conservative government, will leave many victims of crime with no recourse for compensation beyond the $5,000.00 for pain and suffering.
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