‘Nothing like it in the world’: Should Canada adopt New Zealand’s approach to supporting victims?

‘Nothing like it in the world’: Should Canada adopt New Zealand’s approach to supporting victims?

In the wake of last week’s deadly mosque attack in New Zealand, the country’s prime minister reassured people that the government would help cover fun

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In the wake of last week’s deadly mosque attack in New Zealand, the country’s prime minister reassured people that the government would help cover funeral costs and ongoing recovery assistance for survivors and families of the 50 people killed — no matter their immigration status.Story continues below

That’s thanks to New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Corp. (ACC), a unique government-controlled company paid for by public levies, that covers everyone in the country through a no-fault insurance scheme.READ MORE: ‘They need us,’ say Muslim volunteers flying in to wash bodies of the dead in New Zealand“There’s nothing like it in the world,” says Cameron Mustard, president and senior scientist at the Institute for Work and Health in Toronto.“I’ve often wondered why the ACC model hasn’t spread further.”What is the Accident Compensation Corp.?Right now, the coverage you receive in Canada depends not only on where you live but also on how the accident happened: in a car? At work? Were you out with friends having a drink?There’s a mix of private insurers when it comes to car accidents, while workers’ compensation handles on-the-job incidents. But the ACC is much more comprehensive, Mustard says.Consider Lac-Mégantic, he explains. Nearly two-thirds of the 47 people who died in the Quebec town in 2013 after a train derailed and exploded were in a restaurant-bar at the time. While workers’ compensation would cover those who died while working in the bar, it wouldn’t apply to those who were simply having a drink or sharing a meal.That isn’t the case in New Zealand. The ACC covers any injury resulting from an accident, be it a workplace incident, a car accident or, as happened last Friday, a deadly attack.WATCH: First two victims of mosque attack laid to rest in Christchurch

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