Letter to the Editor

Fight crime all the way In response to the Yukon government’s recent news release on the success of the Safer Communities And Neighbourhoods…

Fight crime all the way

In response to the Yukon government’s recent news release on the success of the Safer Communities And Neighbourhoods legislation, Crime Prevention Yukon, a local Yukon non-governmental organization is concerned about the lack of concerted efforts to combat the root causes of crime in the Yukon.

The Yukon’s Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act provides the Yukon government’s SCAN office with the tools for reactive measures, but does not address the root causes of crime nor does it prevent troublemakers from setting-up camp somewhere else in our community.

Crime Prevention Yukon does not think that quantitative numbers of complaints and evictions alone substantiates to evidence of successful crime reduction or crime prevention in our communities.

The Yukon government’s SCAN office does certainly address a problem with crime in our communities and indeed can be deemed successful if the results have met the objectives of this initiative.

However, Crime Prevention Yukon would like to encourage more comprehensive development of legislation and initiatives to increase our communities’ safety.

Crime is a social problem that deserves a social solution approach. We have to realize that evicting troublemakers may solve a specific neighbourhood problem but likely leads to relocation of the problem instead of addressing the cause of criminal behaviour.

In the long run, we are better off trying to solve the problem with a multi-angled approach.

According to the findings of the National Crime Prevention Council Canada, the evidence is conclusive that the most effective way to prevent crime is to ensure healthier children, stronger families, better schools and more cohesive communities.

The dividends include less violence, safer communities and significant cost savings in the criminal justice system and in almost every other area of public and private spending.

Crime Prevention Yukon is a local non-governmental organization that has been working towards creating safer Yukon communities over the past 13 years.

Percentages of some serious criminal code offences committed in our Yukon communities, such as crimes of violence, and breaking and entering, are still substantially higher than the national average.

Crime Prevention Yukon recognizes the need for addressing the root causes of crime, but also acknowledges the current limitations of non-governmental organizations.

Although the grassroots approach of Crime Prevention Yukon and other local non-governmental organizations in addressing crime factors in our communities is widely accepted and appreciated, many of these organizations have to do without a stable source of income.

This causes operational instability and therefore prevents organizations from increasing their efficiency and causes erosion of effectiveness in an ongoing cycle.

The situation of continuously having to deal with a lack of sustained funding, draws away attention from the community issues, which we as NGOs are addressing.

Providing the community with sustained services to increase crime resilience and crime reduction is a big challenge.

The loss of effectiveness of our grassroots organizations in addressing social issues due to a lack of sustained funding comes likely at a higher cost to our community than the cost of sustained government funding for our local Yukon grassroots organizations.

Crime Prevention Yukon strongly believes that concerted efforts between all levels of government in the Yukon, local non-governmental service providers and inclusion of the public is the best way to combat the high number of criminal offences in the Yukon.

We call upon the Yukon government to assume a lead role in creating a territorial crime prevention strategy and include all relevant actors, such as our local non-governmental service providers, First Nation communities and the public at large to successfully reducing crime factors and increasing safety in Yukon communities.

Ryn Bunicich, executive director, Crime Prevention Yukon, Whitehorse

School council slighted

Open letter to Premier Dennis Fentie and Speaker Ted Staffen and Education Minister Patrick Rouble:

I am writing this letter in response to the way that you have been undermining the hard, hard work of volunteers at Whitehorse Elementary School.

This year we have an exceptional school council working for the benefit of our children. I have two children who attend the school. I expect that a government do 100 per cent to ensure that education is not only a priority but is also cast in a most positive way.

Your government has gone out of its way to insult the council members and undermine them.

I encourage you to use this platform in a more positive way and prove to all of us that you are in fact prioritizing the needs of our children. Please do not insult the hard-working volunteers of our school council.

I would like a response immediately on this matter.

I would also like to see Dennis Fentie make a public apology to the entire school council.

Meera Sarin

Whitehorse

Caring airline

I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the staff and management of Air North.

During the recent illness and bereavement of my mother, they did everything possible to make my life easier.

I would particularly like to thank two of the reservation staff, Heather and Sharon, who really went out of their way to get us to Edmonton and back with no hassles.

Credit has to go to Joe Sparling for giving his staff the authority and encouragement to provide excellent service.

Perhaps the other airline could look at this service model and realize that it is just darn good business, as we will always fly Air North when we have the choice.

Margaret Donnelly

 Whitehorse

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