Millions unspent in federal fund for parents of murdered, missing children

OTTAWA - A federal fund that helps families whose children were murdered or have gone missing has left millions of dollars in the federal treasury in each of the last two years.

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Federal spending documents show $166,320 has actually gone to families -- less than one per cent of the $20 million budgeted over the last two fiscal years.

Briefing material provided to Families Minister Jean-Yves Duclos after his appointment suggests officials overestimated the number of families that would need the program.

The briefing materials obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act show officials are reviewing how much they budget for the program.

The program provides $350 a week for up to 35 weeks to parents with children under the age of 18 who have been killed or gone missing as a result of a criminal act. Parents can only receive the money within one year of the incident taking place.

Victims groups say the scope of the program excludes families with older children who are murdered, for instance, and who could use the financial help.



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