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

Fourth person recovers from COVID-19

No new cases in the territory.

Wyatt’s World

John Hopkins-Hill News Reporter… Continue reading

New measures make previous COVID-19 orders enforceable

Violators could face a fine, up to six months in jail or both

Owner of Whitehorse home targeted in police raid wants more communication between cops, landlords

Marie-Pierre Leblanc Demers is the owner of 5051 Fifth Ave. in downtown Whitehorse

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Carcross/Tagish First Nation postpones general election

Carcross/Tagish First Nation has postponed its general election for chief until further… Continue reading

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in postpones election of chief

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in has postponed its election for chief after all three candidates… Continue reading

Organizers continue to plan for Reckless Raven

Significant changes or eventual cancellation not ruled out

City readies for another food truck season

Physical distance will be encouraged

Comprehensive Review of HSS report extended 30 days

The Yukon government has given the independent expert panel, charged with the… Continue reading

Yukon government announces supports for businesses forced to cancel events, clarifies precautions for mining industry

Temporary funding program passed to help businesses and NGOs who lost money on cancelled events.

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week. Formalizing… Continue reading

Air North not informed by officials of COVID-19 case, president says

Joe Sparling says Air North learned via social media that passenger on flight had COVID-19

Most Read