Making a Complaint under the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights

The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights (CBVR) provides statutory rights for victims of crime to information, participation, protection and to seek restitution. It also provides victims of crime with a way to have a complaint resolved if they feel that their rights have been infringed or denied by the Public Safety Portfolio during their interaction with the Canadian criminal justice system.

Making a Complaint to the Public Safety Portfolio under the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights

Right to Information
Right to Protection
Right to Participation
Right to Seek Restitution

Learn more about victim rights throughout Canada’s criminal justice system.

National Office for Victims (NOV)

The NOV provides information and support to victims of federal offenders (serving a sentence of two years or more), criminal justice professionals and the general public. It deals with complaints regarding a victim’s right to information.

You may submit a complaint to the NOV and/or view the complaint process.

Contact information
Phone:
1-866-525-0554
Email

Correctional Service of Canada (CSC)

The CSC’s National Victim Services Program provides services to victims of federal offenders through dedicated Victim Services Officers (VSOs).

The CSC deals with complaints regarding a victim’s right to information, protection, participation, and restitution.

You may submit a complaint to the CSC. You may also view the CSC complaint process.

Contact information
Phone:
1-866-806-2275
Email

Parole Board of Canada (PBC)

The PBC makes decisions to approve, deny, or cancel parole for federal offenders. The PBC also makes parole decisions for offenders serving sentences of less than two years in all provinces and territories, except Ontario and Quebec, which they have their respective parole boards.

The PBC deals with complaints regarding a victim’s right to information, protection, and participation.

You may submit a complaint to the PBC and/or view the complaint process.

Contact information
Phone:
1-866-789-4636

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)

The RCMP’s Victim Services program seeks to increase victim safety and victims’ level of participation in the criminal justice system.

The RCMP deals with complaints regarding a victim’s right to information, protection, and participation.

You may submit a complaint to the RCMP or visit your local RCMP detachment. You may also view the RCMP complaint process.

Contact information
Phone:
1-866-432-5837

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

The CBSA is required to follow the CVBR during a CBSA-led investigation into offences under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

The CBSA deals with complaints regarding a victim’s right to information, protection, and participation.

You may submit a complaint to the CBSA. You may also view the CBSA complaint process.

Alternate Format: PDF 110 KB

The National Office for Victims' Canadian Victims Bill of Rights Complaints Policy

The National Office for Victims (NOV) is a central resource that offers information services and referrals to victims of federal offenders. If you feel that the NOV did not provide you with the information you requested, you may submit a complaint for review.

The NOV's Complaints Policy applies only to an alleged infringement or denial of rights by the NOV as provided for under the CVBR. The NOV is responsible for the following types of CVBR complaints:

If your complaint does not relate to one of the above or for any other enquiries, please contact the NOV at 1-866-525-0554 free of charge from anywhere in Canada or the United States or via email and our staff will assist you in finding the correct contact for your complaint.

Please note: Complaints must be made within 2 years of the events in question.

How to submit your complaint

You may download and complete the Victim Complaint Form (PDF 371 KB) and then submit it to the NOV using one of the following methods:

To allow us to fully address your complaint, please provide:

What to expect

The National Office for Victims at Public Safety Canada takes all complaints very seriously and will respond directly to your concerns. You can expect an acknowledgment of receipt from us within two business days, and a more fulsome response soon after. If we need any additional information from you in order to review your complaint, we will contact you as soon as possible. If we are unable to respond to your complaint in a reasonable amount of time, we will advise you in writing.

Detailed steps of the complaints process under the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights

  1. Step 1: Complaint submitted and received. Confirmation of receipt is sent to complainant.
  2. Step 2: Complaint assessed under the terms of the CVBR. Complaints meet criteria if they fall within the terms of the CVBR and the organization's responsibility. If information is missing, the victim will be contacted.
    • Meets Criteria – Founded: Victim's rights were found to have been denied.
    • Meets Criteria – Partly Founded: Some, but not all, issues identified in the complaint were found to deny a victim's rights.
    • Meets Criteria – Unfounded: The organization followed policy and legislation.
    • Does not Meet Criteria: The complaint is inadmissible.
  3. Step 3: Written response
    • Meets Criteria – Founded: A written response is sent, explaining the founded results of the complaint, actions taken, and any relevant referrals.
    • Meets Criteria – Partly Founded: A written response is sent, explaining the partly founded results of the complaint, actions taken, and any relevant referrals.
    • Meets Criteria – Unfounded: A written response is sent, explaining the unfounded results of the complaint and any relevant referrals.
    • Does not Meet Criteria: A written response is sent, explaining that the complaint does not meet the criteria and providing related referrals to other organizations or services.
  4. Step 4: Follow-up
    • Satisfied – Complaint process completed and file is closed.
    • Not Satisfied – Contact information for the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime (OFOVC) is provided. Complaint process completed and file is closed.

Public Safety Canada Portfolio Report

Public Safety Canada Portfolio Report: Victim Complaint Resolution Mechanisms – Canadian Victims Bill of Rights (July 23, 2015 to March 31, 2017)

Public Safety Canada Portfolio Report: Victim Complaint Resolution Mechanisms - Canadian Victims Bill of Rights (fiscal year 2017-2018)

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