OTTAWA — The federal victims of crime ombudsman is calling for sweeping changes to a federal fund that provides grants to parents who lost children under 18 to death or disappearance as a result of a probable criminal offence. Some numbers to keep in mind:
1,000: Average number of families that government officials originally predicted would be helped annually by the program.
28: Applications the federal government received for the grant between Jan. 1, 2013, and March 31, 2015.
18: Applicants deemed eligible for funds during the same period.
$223,300: Total value of grants provided through the fund to the end of the 2015-16 fiscal year.
$33 million: Amount budgeted for grants over that same period.
$2.4 million: Administration costs associated with the program between Jan. 1, 2013, and March 31, 2015.
$12,250: Maximum amount eligible parents can receive from the fund.
52: Weeks from the time of a death or disappearance that a parent must apply for and receive grants.
$6,500: Minimum amount a parent must have earned over the 12 months prior to a death or disappearance to be eligible for the program.
83: Percentage of costs of crime borne by victims, including lost wages, according to a 2008 government study.
49: Homicide victims under age 18 in 2015, about eight per cent of all homicide victims in Canada that year.
The Canadian Press