Justice Minister Marian Horne used to volunteer for the Elizabeth Fry Society.
But her department won’t fund the new Yukon chapter.
“We think it’s very unusual,” said Elizabeth Fry president Nora Peters on Thursday.
In the summer, Elizabeth Fry gave Justice a funding proposal.
“And they told us by September that we would hear something,” said Peters.
“But we haven’t heard anything.”
In other provinces and territories Elizabeth Fry is funded by Justice, said Peters.
“We just can’t seem to get our feet off the ground.”
Elizabeth Fry is a voice for marginalized, victimized, crimnalized and imprisoned women.
“We want to help all women at risk and advocate for women,” said Peters.
“These organizations have historically done excellent work worldwide, representing the needs of persons in the justice system,” said Justice spokesperson Chris Beacom on Friday.
“We welcome their presence in Whitehorse and their input.
“However, their proposals require funding from other sources before Yukon government will be able to consider funding.”
Elizabeth Fry did get funding from another source already. United Way funded the society’s kick-off event in the summer.
Beacom would not comment on this.
“That’s my statement — I have nothing more to say,” he said.
Elizabeth Fry usually receives funding from United Way and private sponsors, as well as government, said Peters.
Strapped for cash, the society plans to start approaching First Nations for funding.
“We need at least enough money to get an office, an executive director and enough equipment to start looking for other funding sources,” said Peters.
The society had hoped for $200,000 from Justice, she said.
Peters met with Horne.
“Horne knows the importance of Elizabeth Fry, she used to volunteer for them,” she said.
“But we got the same old answer.
“Horne said (Justice) supports the society, but doesn’t have the money.”
This year, the Yukon government announced a surplus projection of $99.5 million.