Government of Yukon

May 19, 2017

Minister of Justice honours 13 Yukoners at Community Safety Awards

The 2017 Minister of Justice Community Safety Awards were held this Wednesday at Whitehorse’s Coast High Country Inn, and 13 Yukoners were recognized for their efforts in preventing crime and fostering community safety.

The Government of Yukon received award nominations from across the territory. The nominations were highlighted by collaborative crime prevention initiatives, support services for youth victims of crime, exceptional commitment to emergency response, volunteerism with youth and innovative community policing projects.

The Community Safety Awards nominating committee met on March 16 to review nominations and select the 2017 award recipients. The committee comprised of Lisa Anderson and Rob Schneider from the Yukon Police Council, Assistant Deputy Minister Al Lucier from the Government of Yukon’s Department of Justice, and Superintendent Brian Jones from RCMP “M” Division.

Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) Whitehorse chapter secretary Jacquie Van Marck presented this year’s Recognizing Impaired Driving Enforcement (RIDE) awards to four Yukon RCMP members who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to reduce impaired driving in the territory.


“I am proud to present these 13 individuals with the 2017 Community Safety Awards. It is their outstanding efforts that increasingly make our communities a safer place to live. By recognizing and celebrating these accomplishments we hope others will be inspired to join the collaborative works of building a safer Yukon.

“I am glad we were able to share this special evening with the well-deserving recipients of the RIDE awards. These outstanding RCMP members have made significant impacts on road safety throughout Yukon through their dedication to reducing impaired driving on our roads.”

–Minister of Justice Tracy-Anne McPhee

Quick facts

  • The Community Safety Awards were established in 2012 in response to a recommendation from the 2010 Sharing Common Ground report, which highlighted a need to recognize the contributions of Yukoners who promote community safety.
  • 2017 Community Safety Awards recipients:
    • Lifetime contribution to community safety: Ian Spencer, Mayo
    • Youth volunteer: Vanessa Chaput, Watson Lake
    • Mentorship: Constable Erin Gregorash, Watson Lake
    • Outstanding program: Kwanlin Dün First Nation Justice Professional Inter-Agency Council, Whitehorse
    • Outstanding community policing: Constable Sam Anderson, Pelly Crossing
    • Outstanding project: Jane Bates, Integrated Supports for Yukon Youth program, Whitehorse
    • Outstanding contribution to community safety: Inspector Archie Thompson, Whitehorse 
    • Bridge builder: Shannon Maloney, Haines Junction
    • First responder award: Diane Lister, Marsh Lake

Learn more: Community Safety Awards

See backgrounder.


Sunny Patch
Cabinet Communications

Nicole Benson
Communications, Justice

Backgrounder – Recipients of the 2017 Community Safety Awards

Outstanding program: Kwanlin Dün First Nation Justice Professional Inter-Agency Council

The inter-agency board was developed in late 2015 to build partnerships, increase dialogue, and identify opportunities to increase the lived experiences of safety for Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Whitehorse citizens. The council discusses their shared mandate, the initiatives and projects they are running in the community, and complex case planning and situational responses. The interagency council has been able to share perspectives, knowledge and information to more effectively execute its mandates and positively impact the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Whitehorse community. Examples include the steering of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation Community Safety Liaison project, the community cleanup of the McIntyre subdivision and reduction in roaming dogs, the closure of problematic properties, and the effective reintegration and safe supervision of individuals returning to the community following periods of territorial or federal incarceration. This initiative has developed a stronger community relationship between Kwanlin Dün First Nation and all justice professionals with an increase in community safety and security.

Lifetime contribution to community safety: Ian Spencer

Ian Spencer has been a youth mentor for the Village of Mayo for the past 19 years. Mr. Spencer runs a variety of sports programming and other activities throughout the week, including a dinner and movie program at the community hall that helps to keep the young people of Mayo occupied, engaged and out of trouble. The various recreation trips he organizes for youth, such as skiing, rafting, zip lining, climbing, and sports tournaments, assists in fostering the participants’ self-esteem and team spirit. His professionalism and leadership are a great asset to the village. Mr. Spencer is also Mayo’s deputy fire chief and ambulance attendant and a member of the Mayo Interagency Group.

Youth volunteer: Vanessa Chaput

Vanessa Chaput is a true youth leader. In 2015, she was selected by the Watson Lake RCMP and Watson Lake Secondary School to attend the RCMP Youth Leadership workshop in Regina. It was there she developed the idea of WITS (walk away, ignore, talk it out, seek help), an anti-bullying and violence plan for children in kindergarten and grades one to three. Once a month, Ms. Chaput visits classrooms at Johnson Elementary to reads books and discuss issues such as violence, bullying and conflict. In November 2016, she was requested to attend the RCMP Youth Leadership workshop again but this time as a mentor. Chaput also takes part in a number of other volunteer activities in her community.

Mentorship: Constable Erin Gregorash

Constable Erin Gregorash has been coaching the Watson Lake Secondary School girls’ volleyball team for the last four years. Her passion and dedication to her students is exemplary. Constable Gregorash has donated many hours on and off the court in order to teach and mentor the volleyball team and lead them to a fourth place finish at the 2016 Yukon volleyball championships. She has organized a number of fundraisers that have allowed the team to travel to various sporting events and tournaments in and out of the territory. Constable Gregorash has impacted the lives of the girls on the team immensely. She is an exceptional role model and a true asset to the community of Watson Lake.

Outstanding community policing: Constable Sam Anderson

Constable Sam Anderson is dedicated to community safety in Pelly Crossing. Recently, he recognized the need for fire arms safety education and organized a one-day course for the open to all community members. Identifying the immediate need for the course, he was able to overcome resource and time barriers and implement the program for interested residents. Because of his dedication to community safety, approximately 40 residents attended and completed the course directly improving the standard of public safety in Pelly Crossing.

Outstanding project: Jane Bates

Jane Bates is a leader in youth support in Yukon. This year, she has been working hard to establish the Integrated Supports for Yukon Youth program. She works tirelessly to create a collective space where services, programs, and workshops can be delivered to Yukon youth by government service providers. Through this initiative, she and her staff have supported youth to make positive life choices and helped lower the risks that many of them face. Ms. Bates has made a phenomenal impact on the youth in our community.

Outstanding contribution to community safety: Inspector Archie Thompson

Inspector Archie Thompson has quickly become a fixture in the City of Whitehorse. His dedication and leadership at the RCMP as the commander of the Whitehorse detachment and countless hours of volunteer service are extraordinary. He is invested in supporting efforts that strengthen the territory and the betterment of its citizens. Inspector Thompson is an active volunteer with the Rotary Club, Royal Canadian Legion #254 and other groups and activities that help support Aboriginal people, women’s groups, visible minorities, youth leadership and persons with disabilities. Inspector Thompson is a role model for many and leads by example inspiring widespread community safety.

Bridge builder: Shannon Maloney

Shannon Maloney works as the Youth Centre Coordinator for the Champagne and Aishihik First Nation in Haines Junction. In this role she actively engages with local youth and provides a wide range of programming opportunities and activities at the Anda Ta Youth Centre. Ms. Maloney is committed to providing the best possible opportunities for the youth in the region and actively build relationships and involves communities and community safety organizations.

First responder award: Diane Lister

Diane Lister is an integral member of the Marsh Lake and Yukon emergency response teams. She has been a dedicated member of both Marsh Lake Fire Rescue and Marsh Lake EMS for over ten years. Wanting to continue with her passion for safety responding, she joined Carcross Search and Rescue and continued volunteering with them after their transition into the new Yukon Search and Rescue. In addition to her tactical volunteering, she has held executive positions on the Marsh Lake Emergency Services Society and the Yukon Search and Rescue board of directors where she currently is sitting as treasurer. Ms. Lister is devoted to safety across Yukon and has shown outstanding commitment as a first responder.

News Release #17-108