NDP MLAs Dan Coulter and Kelli Paddon say funding will enhance and expand restorative justice program in Chilliwack

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CHILLIWACK – New Democrat MLAs Dan Coulter and Kelli Paddon say people in Chilliwack will benefit from funding to enhance restorative justice in their community.

“The Indigenous Justice Association in Chilliwack does great work to help make sure that Indigenous people who are at risk of, or who have come into contact with the justice system, can have access to Indigenous justice programs,” said Dan Coulter, MLA for Chilliwack. “Restorative justice practices are key to making sure our justice system is effective, as is working together with First Nations organizations towards reconciliation.”

In Chilliwack, the Indigenous Justice Association is receiving $327,000 in funding over 3 years.

“Honouring Indigenous justice practices benefits the whole community,” said Kelli Paddon, MLA for Chilliwack-Kent. “Community-specific programs are an important part of healing and the reconciliation process and I’m glad we can help fund the Indigenous Justice Association here in Chilliwack, who know the needs of local people navigating the justice system in our community best.”

Restorative justice addresses the needs of victims and the community, and holds offenders accountable for the harm they caused. This approach empowers victims and the community to have a voice in the outcome through a collaborative experience of justice. Victims have an opportunity to share the impact of the events with the offender, and offenders have an opportunity to talk about the circumstances of the crime. They can make amends with the victim and community in ways that can be more meaningful than through other criminal justice processes.