April 23rd marks a tragic anniversary in Canada. It is the day that ten innocent individuals lost their lives to a senseless act of violence in Toronto in 2018. Events have been scheduled across the city to honour the victims and their families. However, Doug Ford's Toronto van attack tweet struck a bitter chord with some. The PC government's statement comes just after Ontario cut compensation for violent crime victims, and many were quick to point that out.
Ford's Twitter statement about the tragedy focused on Ontario's stance against terrorism and the provincial government's efforts to keep the country safe:
"One year ago, terror struck at the very heart of our capital city, our province and our country. Our government will always stand with the victims of terrorism and other crimes and work with law enforcement to keep our communities safe," read Ford's tweet.
Here are some of the responses that his statement received:
Ford's government announced earlier this month that it would be scrapping the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act. As a result, victims of violent crimes will now receive drastically reduced compensation for their pain and suffering.
According to a report by the Toronto Star, The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board currently supports victims of violent crimes with up to $25,000. However, Ford's changes will see a cap on that funding, shelling out just $5,000 to the victims and their families.
The sum of $25,000 was given out to victims to help them cover the costs of funerals, therapy, lost wages, medical bills and other expenses related to their pain and suffering.
By overhauling the system, Ford will be saving the province millions. According to the Toronto Star, the 2017-18 annual report for money given out to victims was nearly $33 million in a year in which 3,569 cases were resolved. However, under the Ontario government's new changes, each of those families would only receive $5,000 which would amount to a total of $18 million and save the province roughly $15 million.
According to a report by CBC, Ford's government has blamed long wait times for its controversial decision to axe the law. The province's budget states that the victim compensation system will be "reformed", to ensure that "victims receive financial assistance faster and more efficiently with less administrative burden."