Documents show feds saw few hurdles to overhaul under-used victims fund

OTTAWA — Federal official saw few hurdles blocking changes to a grossly underused grant for parents of missing and murdered children, say newly released documents that show the government felt the program was “meeting its objectives.”

Briefing material crafted for the minister in charge of the program show that officials expected to simplify and expand outreach efforts to raise more awareness about the fund and do both by the end of 2017.

But Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos was told that loosening what a watchdog saw as restrictive eligibility criteria carried ”varying levels of program risk.”

The Canadian Press obtained a copy of the July presentation and briefing note under the Access to Information Act.

The government has yet to enact changes to the program that advocates had hoped for in the wake of a critical review published in August by then victims ombudsman Sue O’Sullivan.

Federal outreach efforts did little to boost take-up of the grant, which continues to spend less than one per cent of the $10 million-a-year budget on funding to families, with much more being spent on administering the money.

Just Posted

Red Deer massage therapist not guilty of sexual assault

Judge said he had reasonable doubt and must acquit

Ten dead, 15 injured in van incident authorities call an horrific attack

TORONTO — The death toll rose to at least 10 late Monday… Continue reading

Watch: Flood watch remains for Waskasoo Creek

Red Deer crews monitoring creek

Warm temperatures this week for Red Deer

23 C forecast for Saturday

Feds to post deficits $8B bigger than expected over next two years: PBO report

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is on track to run deficits nearly… Continue reading

WATCH: Central Alberta dancers take over Red Deer College with their moves

Danceworks Central Alberta Dance Festival is now in its 38th year

Ten dead, 15 injured in van incident authorities call an horrific attack

TORONTO — The death toll rose to at least 10 late Monday… Continue reading

Andersen leads Maple Leafs in win over Bruins to force Game 7

Maple Leafs 3 Bruins 1 (Best of seven game series tied at… Continue reading

As Osoyoos Indian Band flourishes, so too does Okanagan’s wine tourism

Indigenous practices have driven growth of South Okanagan’s wine history and agricultural influence

Anti-straw movement should consider people with disabilities, advocates say

TORONTO — Some Canadians who rely on plastic straws are calling on… Continue reading

Doctors must get better at diagnosing patients with darker skin: Dermatologists

TORONTO — About a month ago, a frustrated Emma Schmidt turned to… Continue reading

Loblaw Companies tax court trial over Barbadian banking subsidiary starts

TORONTO — A tax court trial involving Loblaw Companies Ltd. and allegations… Continue reading

As trial winds down, DA downplays Cosby travel records

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Prosecutors highlighted gaps in Bill Cosby’s travel records on… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month