MONTREAL – Close friends and relatives of homicide victims can soon be compensated for costs associated with attending the killer’s trial, Quebec’s justice minister announced Tuesday.
By the end of the year, up to two family members or close friends of homicide victims will be able to expense the government for trial-related costs including transportation, lodging and food, Stephanie Vallee said.
Total expenses are limited at $2,000 per person.
Vallee said family and friends of homicide victims often can’t afford to attend the killer’s legal proceedings when doing so can be a crucial step in the grieving process.
“The program aims to lessen the pecuniary worries of relatives,” Vallee said.
Quebec will set aside $480,000 annually for the program, which will be administered by an organization that helps the victims of criminal acts.
Vallee said the program should be up and running by the end of the year.
Nathalie Beaulieu, the mother of a young woman murdered in a Montreal grocery store in 2017, attended Vallee’s announcement.
“This gives us a little bit of justice,” she said.