October 17, 2016 - 12:07 PM
OTTAWA - When the Liberal government unveiled the details of the national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls this summer, the federal Justice Department also said it would devote $11.7 million over three years for provinces and territories to set up family information liaison units within their existing victims services departments.
More than two months later, here is where things stand across the country:
Newfoundland and Labrador: The province expects to begin working on the issue in the coming months.
Nova Scotia: Did not provide specific details about a family information liaison unit, but noted the province had reached a $3.75 million multi-year agreement with the federal government for victim services that includes projects providing tailored services for Mi'kmaq and other indigenous Nova Scotians who are victims of crime.
Prince Edward Island: Currently assessing potential demand for the services that would be provided by a unit and discussing how it could be set up.
New Brunswick: Engaging with communities and experts as they work towards setting up a unit, with more details expected in the coming weeks.
Quebec: The province says it also provides $200 million in victims services funding per year, but will devote the federal funding to providing additional services through its existing structures.
Ontario: Unit will be up and running in November. In the meantime, the aboriginal justice division of the Ontario Ministry of Justice has been filling that role by helping families access information.
Saskatchewan: Engaged in discussions with Justice Canada to better understand the parameters for the funding and how it would be applied in the province.
Alberta: The province is currently working on its application, developing job descriptions and working with partners to raise awareness of the services they will provide.
British Columbia: Exploring the development of a unit that would build upon an existing network of victims services, programs and supports, including 14 programs designed specifically for indigenous victims of violence and another eight programs run by indigenous organizations.
Yukon: Submitted a proposal for a planning phase of a potential unit, which would allow the territorial government to work with partners, including local indigenous women's organizations, for how a unit might operate. However, no formal policy decisions will come until after the territory's Nov. 7 election.
NorthwestTerritories: Submitted its proposal. Once approved, the territory will hire and begin training staff.
Nunavut: Currently applying for funding, the territory expects to open its unit early next year.
Manitoba: No response.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016