Leaders tout creation of safety committee

Government leaders say a new committee will help coordinate a response to some of Yukon's thorny social issues.

Government leaders say a new committee will help coordinate a response to some of Yukon’s thorny social issues.

Under the Community Safety Committee, announced Friday, Yukon and First Nation governments, the RCMP and various community groups plan to sit down three times a year to share information and work on complicated issues around safety.

At-risk youth, the prevention of violence against women and girls, missing and murdered aboriginal women and strengthening police and community relationships were all mentioned at the announcement.

It’s building on the 2010 review of Yukon’s police force and Sharing Common Ground report, said Elaine Taylor, the minister responsible for the women’s directorate.

Ten groups are represented on the safety committee, including the Council for Yukon First Nations, Kwanlin Dun First Nation, the Association of Yukon Communities, Yukon Women’s Coalition, the RCMP, Yukon Department of Justice, Yukon’s women’s directorate, Yukon Health and Social Services and Emergency Medical Services.

It will be co-chaired by the Department of Justice’s public safety and investigations director, Jeff Ford, and a community representative that rotates every 18 months.

The first co-chair is the justice manager for CYFN.

No specific priorities have been set yet. The committee has met once already and plans to do it again in September.

Kwanlin Dun chief Doris Bill said she supports the establishment of the committee.

“We all know to improve community safety, many service providers must be involved and enhanced communication is essential.”

The Sharing Common Ground report came after the death of Raymond Silverfox in police custody and a review of Yukon’s police force. The report made 33 recommendations.

The structure of the new committee is similar to what was used for Sharing Common Ground, said Justice Minister Brad Cathers. That wrapped up last year and everyone involved thought it was important to create a way for the conversations to continue, he said.

Taylor pointed to many initiatives that came out of the report. That includes an agreement between the RCMP and the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society and something similar for women’s groups in Whitehorse, and the creation of a sexualized assault response committee, a specialized response unit within the RCMP and the court watch program.

“Each one of these initiatives is helping to address critical gaps in services and is aiming to find ways of improving how we can positively respond to victims in such a way that honours their dignity, their resistance and their resilience.”

Brenda Jackson, justice manager for CYFN, read a statement from Ruth Massie.

“I believe this committee will be successful in the promotion, prevention, intervention and response to community safety once the committee establishes its action plan,” she said.

“A plan that is community-built and community-owned including full transparency, shared accountability, improved communications and information-sharing will go a long way in addressing the real needs of everyone in the community.”

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Liberal leader Sandy Silver speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Dawson City following early poll results on April 12. (Robin Sharp/Yukon News)
BREAKING: Minority government results will wait on tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin

The Yukon Party and the Liberal Party currently have secured the same amount of seats

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
This week at city hall

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its April 6 meeting.

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read