Quebec promises $19.2M to help Indigenous communities access justice system
Last updated 3/27/2021 at 3:10pm
Quebec City-First Nations citizens in Quebec received a boost recently when the Quebec government announced plans to spend $19.2 million to give Indigenous communities better access to the justice system and support services for crime victims.
Ian Lafrenière, the minister responsible for Indigenous affairs, described the funding as a direct response to recommendations in the report from the Viens Commission, an inquiry that examined Quebec's relations with Indigenous Peoples.
The government's plan includes assigning $7.7 million to hire more personnel to serve in Quebec's Crime Victims Assistance Centres network and Indigenous organizations that currently give or want to offer support services to crime victims. The goal is for the organizations to be able to provide more frontline services like psychological assistance.
Approximately $6 million will be used to build the system of court workers who help people navigate the judicial system and criminal justice process, including $2.5 million designated to hire new court workers from First Nations and Inuit communities.
A smaller amount, $5.5 million, will be used to address language barriers in the justice system. The goal will be to improve and expand interpretation services in different Indigenous languages.
"What will change for Indigenous communities in Quebec is the fact they will have more services," Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette told Global News.
The latest announcement comes as Quebec continues to try to strengthen ties with Indigenous communities in the province.