Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Basic principles of the Program

The mission of the Program is to offer the family and close friends of a person who died as the result of a criminal act compensation for expenses incurred while attending legal proceedings in connection with the case.

The fundamental principle of the Program is the recognition that persons with a close relationship to a victim should be entitled to financial support if they wish to be present during legal proceedings.

The Program also recognizes the following:

  • The mourning process of those who were close to the victim can become extremely complex and affect their quality of life, especially if the death of their loved one was caused by a sudden and violent criminal act.
  • The financial burden taken on by family members and close friends of deceased victims of a criminal act who attend the subsequent legal proceedings does nothing to alleviate the mourning process or any of the other consequences of the criminal act.
  • In addition to providing an occasion to honour the memory of the deceased, legal proceedings can represent a critical moment for those looking for answers or closure. Being present in court can also aid recovery following the loss of a loved one.
  • In certain circumstances, the Program will attenuate, if not eliminate, the financial impact and other repercussions for loved ones attending legal proceedings.
  • To recognize the need of those close to the deceased victim to be present at legal proceedings
  • To make it easier for those close to the deceased victim of a criminal act to attend the legal proceedings
  • To lessen the financial burden caused by expenses incurred by a victim’s loved ones in order to be present at legal proceedings.

The Program promotes the values of compassion, consideration, equity, understanding, respect, professionalism and a spirit of collaboration.

Yes, the provinces of New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia have all introduced similar measures.

How the Program works

Expenses related to travel, meals, accommodation and parking are eligible for reimbursement under the Program. Details regarding expense reimbursement are available under the Reimbursement amounts tab.

No, eligibility under the Program is not limited to victims of homicide. Included are all criminal acts causing death: criminal negligence, impaired driving, dangerous driving, etc.

Unfortunately, no. Although Program partners are sensitive to the many repercussions of any criminal act on victims or witnesses and their loved ones, the financial capacity of the Program does not allow it to be extended beyond those close to deceased victims.

Reimbursement is offered at every stage in the criminal justice process. Those who were close to the victim are free to choose which proceedings they wish to attend.

Expenses reimbursed in connection with appeal proceedings are included in the initial $2,000 maximum. In the event of a new trial, however, additional amounts will be made available.

If a family member or close friend is summoned to appear in court, the expenses incurred by that person on the day of the hearing will be paid by the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions.

A family member or close friend may not receive other compensation forms for expenses they have already claimed under the Program.

Any family member or close friend of a person who died as the result of a criminal act may submit a request. “Family and close friends” include any person related to the deceased person by birth, by marriage or by some other very close relationship with the deceased person (such as a close friend or other significant person).

A maximum of two people will be accepted as applicants.

Priority will be given to the immediate family, in the following order:

  • spouse of the deceased victims
  • child of the deceased victim
  • father and mother of the deceased victim
  • brother and sister of the deceased victim
  • grandfather and grandmother of the deceased victim.

No, each applicant may request reimbursement for themselves and a companion for each day of legal proceedings (not necessarily the same companion every day). It is important to note, however, that amounts reimbursed to companions will be deducted from the applicant’s $2,000 maximum.

Each of the two applicants may claim expenses for up to a total of $2,000. This amount is applied to eligible expenses incurred by the applicants and their companion(s), as applicable.

The Program reimburses eligible expenses in the form of cheque made payable to the applicant or directly to the companion on presentation of a reimbursement form and receipt of supporting documents (receipts, bills, etc.).

All reimbursement forms completed by a companion must be signed by the recognized applicant on file.

Yes, the Program is intended for all family members and close friends of a person who died as a result of a criminal act that was committed in Quebec.

No, you do not have to reside in Quebec in order to submit an application and be reimbursed.

No, but it is strongly recommended that anyone who has been affected by the death of a loved one as the result of a criminal act seek psychosocial support. Several organizations offer this kind of support: the CAVAC network, the AFPAD (association of families of homicide victims and missing persons), MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), and various professionals such as psychologists and social workers.

The pilot phase will allow us to evaluate and revise the Program as needed in order to effectively meet the needs of victims’ loved ones. Improvements will be made to the Program if needed.

All expenses incurred on or after January 28, 2019 are eligible for reimbursement, subject to presentation of receipts and based on the terms and conditions of the Program.

No. The Program applies to individuals who wish to attend legal proceedings held on or after January 28, 2019.

Yes, the same terms and conditions apply as in the case of legal proceedings.