Victims grant may miss needy parents due to eligibility rules: report

Only 29 of 50 applicants between 2013 and 2017 received the grant across Canada, a federal report says

A newly released report says a federal grant for parents of murdered and abducted children may be inadvertently failing to provide important financial help to those who are “more vulnerable economically.”

The federal evaluation, made public today, cautions against drawing any hard conclusions from the numbers, given how few parents have applied for and received the grant since it launched in January 2013.

Only 29 of 50 applicants between 2013 and 2017 received the grant, and they were predominantly female and living in urban areas mainly in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta.

The evaluation, which was finalized in December, says rejected applicants tended to be single and unemployed people who earned less income during the year before the incident, compared with those parents who received the grant.

The report also cites interviews with police, government and victims services officials who say Indigenous Peoples living on reserve don’t know about the program.

Since its launch in 2013, the program has spent less than one per cent of its annual $10 million budget on grants, which the evaluation chalks up to a variety of issues, including strict eligibility criteria.

The Canadian Press

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