WHITEHORSE—Territorial justice ministers Mike Nixon of Yukon, Glen Abernethy of Northwest Territories, and Daniel Shewchuk of Nunavut met today in Whitehorse to discuss justice and public safety issues of particular concern to the North.
As host, Nixon shared some of his department’s recent successes and innovations including the establishment of the Yukon Police Council, the Justice Wellness Centre, and Yukon’s integrated offender management program.
“I was pleased to share these important Yukon initiatives with my territorial counterparts,” Nixon said. “I believe that by sharing innovations and best practices with our sister territories we can improve the administration of justice for all northerners.”
In preparation for the upcoming federal, provincial and territorial justice ministers meeting, the territorial ministers discussed mutual concerns, such as the high cost of administering justice in the North, the need for more legal aid funding, and the effect that federal changes to the Criminal Code will have on Aboriginal and northern communities.
“As territorial ministers we need to work together to help our federal colleagues understand the specific challenges involved in delivering justice services in the North, and the important role to be played by Ottawa in addressing these challenges,” Abernethy said.
The ministers also took the opportunity to tour the new Whitehorse Correctional Centre.
“I was very impressed with Yukon’s new correctional centre. The state of the art design and direct supervision model at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre is something Nunavut has tried to reproduce in our new facility in Rankin Inlet,” Shewchuk said. “Yukon’s experience and knowledge will continue to be a valuable resource when the Rankin facility opens.”
Following the meeting, the ministers will attend the Symposium on Policing in Northern and Remote Canada in Whitehorse on September 19 and 20.