Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

BOLSTERING COMMUNITY SAFETY – Seen left to right at Thursday’s news conference are Mayor Laura Cabott, community safety specialist Gina Nagano, Yukon MP Brendan Hanley, Kwanlin Dün First Nation Chief Doris Bill and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino.

Money for anti-crime initiatives ‘huge’: Cabott

The City of Whitehorse is getting almost $1 million from the federal government to spend on programs that will keep young people out of crime.

By Ethan Lycan-Lang on January 20, 2023

The City of Whitehorse is getting almost $1 million from the federal government to spend on programs that will keep young people out of crime.

What those programs might be is still unclear, but it’s completely up to the city to decide.

“We’re going to start off just doing some engagement and trying to determine how best we would use that money,” Mayor Laura Cabott told the Star Thursday afternoon.

The city’s goal is to help young residents make healthy choices and avoid criminal activity, she added.

“Things like counselling, supports, recreational opportunities, cultural endeavours, all those sorts of things, to help them avoid that difficult path.”

Cabott said none of the money will go toward policing.

It will likely be distributed to community organizations to offer programs and initiatives for young people, she said.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino made the funding announcement Thursday morning, alongside Cabott and Yukon MP Brendan Hanley, at a news conference at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre.

“My number-one priority as minister of Public Safety is keeping Canadians safe,” Mendocino said in a release.

“Investments in grassroots efforts in Whitehorse are essential to addressing the social conditions that lead youth and young adults to get involved in a life of crime.”

Whitehorse will get $929,500 over four years for this purpose.

“It’s huge,” Cabott said. “I don’t think we’ve ever had funding for this type of a program before.

“We get (similar) funding for housing, for infrastructure, but for this, it is significant.”

In an email, city spokesperson Oshea Jephson gave a general timeline for how the funding will be used.

“Year 1 of funding is approximately $125K and will allow the City to conduct a needs assessment of the programs and services currently in the community, and identify any new opportunities for programming or supports.

“From this work, a project plan will be created which will guide how the remaining funding is spent over the subsequent years.”

The money comes from the $250-million Building Safer Communities Fund (BSCF) launched last March.

The BSCF supports local initiatives that prevent crime.

According to a Public Safety Canada release, Whitehorse’s fund will “support community-led prevention, education and outreach projects – assisting young people who may be at risk, and helping them set themselves up for success in life.”

Financial support from the BSCF is being doled out to municipalities and communities around the country.

The amount of money a community receives from the fund is based on the severity of crime in the region – the number of gun deaths, incidents of firearms offences, gang-related violence – and population density.

“We’re facing some issues around vandalism, graffiti, guns, drug use,” Cabott pointed out.

“And so our focus is to be using this money to focus on the youth so that they don’t even get down into that stream.”

Cabott said gang violence and organized crime aren’t big concerns in Whitehorse.

However, a study conducted for the RCMP released last summer confirmed that several organized crime groups are part of the territory’s drug trade activities, with most based in British Columbia.

North Vancouver also received BSCF money Thursday: $1.8 million over three years.

Canada’s Department of Public Safety measures youth crime rates across the country by calculating a Crime Severity Index (CSI).

In a 2012 study on Canadian youth at risk, the department said Youth CSIs were highest in the North; Yukon had the third-highest in the country.

The department reported last year that the Youth CSI dropped 50 per cent between 2011 and 2021.

The CSI tracks changes in the severity of police-reported crime by accounting for both the amount of crime reported by police in a given jurisdiction and the relative seriousness of these crimes.

It tells how much crime is coming to the attention of police and how serious those crimes are.

The Department of Public Safety acknowledges it’s “virtually impossible for any one statistic or source of information to adequately address all aspects of (crime).”

“This funding from the Building Safer Communities Fund will help support at-risk youth to make healthier choices and better set themselves up for success in life,” Hanley said.

“I look forward to seeing the difference it will make for young people across Yukon.”

Mendicino was scheduled to speak to the Star this afternoon.

See Monday’s edition for coverage of the roundtable on proposed federal firearms law changes he and Hanley hosted early Thursday evening.

Comments (26)

Up 12 Down 1

Groucho d'North on Jan 24, 2023 at 8:48 am

With rap anthems like "Get Rich or Die Trying" young people are encouraged to do what they feel is right for them to make a living and coupled with our permissive court system how can they think otherwise? Crime pays, accept it. Work 8-5 Monday to Friday for a small take home after the government has stolen their chunk or you can sell dope for a few hours each day and keep all of what you made? Its not a hard choice for some youth.

Up 14 Down 1

Dallas on Jan 24, 2023 at 5:54 am

Spare the rod spoil the child…maybe not so much but hey if the little bastard breaks into my place he’ll get more than the rod.

Up 2 Down 0

bonanzajoe on Jan 23, 2023 at 8:37 pm

Tell us in 3 years how that program is working out.

Up 2 Down 0

What is your Social Credit Score? on Jan 23, 2023 at 4:48 pm

Dear Juniper Jackson on Jan 22, 2023 at 4:48 pm:

I mostly enjoy your submissions - Please keep it up! I feel less alone here - Thanks!

The irony of parents not being able to parent… Is this not in essence why we are engaging in the dialogue around Truth and Reconciliation with our FN brothers and sisters? They know what it is like to not be able to parent your own children.

The government is clearly, once again, intruding into the lives of the family to psychologically cleave the family unit by creating the conditions of necessity of having to be state dependent - The common ‘welfare’.

Good luck with your guaranteed income payments! Sorry, you are penalized with a 10% deduction from your gross monthly cheque for violating the verbal moralities statutes - I inferred from what you said that you were suggesting that Trudeau is an absolute demonstration of ineptitude, imbecility, incompetence, and irreverence to the ideals of restraint.

What is happening to society right now is absolutely nothing short of dangerous. You/we are doing this to ourselves and I am left wondering if it’s an intelligence thing for many of us?

Up 1 Down 0

Crunch on Jan 23, 2023 at 4:38 pm

The liberal answer for everything is to throw money at it . Warren Zevon obviously wasn’t a lib “ send lawyers, GUNS and money the **** has hit the fan” !!!

Up 1 Down 0

bonanzajoe on Jan 23, 2023 at 4:16 pm

Liberals and NDP think that throwing money at the problem is the magic answer. Forgive my pessimism. I've seen this before over the last 70 years. Doesn't work. I know what does, but better not say. I might get in trouble over the new take away Freedom of Speech laws.

Up 3 Down 24

Yukoner on Jan 23, 2023 at 7:41 am

@Nathan Living over four years so not actually that much. And the savings down the road when you don't have extra people using up corrections, hospital, social services supports will probably be much more. Unfortunately no one ever works to fix the problem and this is a step in the right direction.

Up 48 Down 2

BnR on Jan 23, 2023 at 6:45 am

Yukon consultants will make out like bandits.
The kids, not so much.

Up 21 Down 3

Elitist Games on Jan 23, 2023 at 5:56 am

Hey Wes on Jan 22, 2023 at 12:52 pm:

Quit wasting your time. Those young men were the sons of the Yukon elite. Probably the children of lawyers and judges, maybe a director or ADM, or even one of the founding members of the Young Guns softball team - Remember, there are no illegitimate children. Please call them the ‘love child’ of the elitist spawn - Not hooligans, miscreants, or criminal thugs with low IQ impulsivity!

Up 36 Down 3

Juniper Jackson on Jan 22, 2023 at 4:48 pm

Wes: just spank: I liked your comment. Remembering those teenage years of boon docking and toolie hopping, sand buggies...And..my father. I learned to control my temper the first time I mouthed off to my Mother. After my Dad was done 'talking' to me, I'd stick my tongue out at her back, or mime something, but i never did it again. I stole a candy bar at Food Giant. My Dad had another 'conversation' with me...jeez, I swear I can still feel that talk. Needless to say, I don't steal. My folks were kind people, and I learned kindness from them. That wasn't a hard lesson..no one really wants to hurt other people. I'm not saying all kids need that talk with their Dads, my Mother never raised a hand, all she had to say, "I'm telling your Father'. God knows my goodie two-shoes sister never took a hiding from Dad. She'd say, what did you do? I told her, then she didn't do that.

Today, parents are not allowed to parent. they are allowed to feed, cloth, and spend a fortune on them, but not to parent. Some social worker, who has no vested interest in the family gets to take you to court and take your child away from you if you spanked that little monster for spray painting the neighbors car and stealing their money. How is that responsible parenting? The family and government relationship has to be changed. Get the government out of your lives. When I had my first child, all of my neighbors came in, helped with the house, the baby, any problems like latching on..do this, do that, the cooking, the laundry. By the time I had my last child, the government sent a nurse in to weigh the baby, shots, and home care, I didn't even know my neighbors. The introduction of the government into the personal life's of the citizenry has not been a good thing for any of us.

Up 29 Down 2

Heathen on Jan 22, 2023 at 4:10 pm

I’m sure that will be some good money for some counsellors, and some NGO types salaries, some school assembly presentations warning kids about drugs but as for addressing youth crime (or any crime for that matter) and actually improving outcomes? That seems unlikely. Bringing back McGruff the Crime dog would probably be just as helpful and cost less. Take a bite out of crime!

Up 43 Down 5

Nathan Living on Jan 22, 2023 at 3:49 pm

I can see funding a few initiatives but close to a million dollars seems excessive and likely very wasteful.

Up 60 Down 5

Wes on Jan 22, 2023 at 12:52 pm

Want kids to stay out of crime?
How about have some real consequences. Whatever happened to those young men who attacked the little girl with a paintball gun? Nothing, that's what.
Publish young offenders names and have sort sort of humiliating punishment like putting them in stocks in front of city hall.
That will make kids think twice.

Up 39 Down 5

TheHammer on Jan 22, 2023 at 11:34 am

There's money in crime, money in alcoholism, money in peace making. Just make sure there's lots of crime, alcoholism, and no peace.

Up 48 Down 6

Groucho d'North on Jan 21, 2023 at 9:57 pm

Smell that? The aroma of burning money, it's like a summer BBQ from a neighbour's a couple doors down. Must be an election coming.

Up 44 Down 6

Just spank ur kids on Jan 21, 2023 at 3:57 pm

Spank your kids! Teach them about accountability!! Charge the parents the cost for any external community cost.

Up 75 Down 7

John on Jan 21, 2023 at 2:59 pm

Ah the Money Fairy has arrived from Ottawa, sprinkling his golden riches to the big spending, over-bloated bureaucracy's in the North. A little fairy dust here, a big chunk there and viola the masters in Ottawa pass their coinage hither and thar. Cha-ching cha-ching let the cash register ring. We don't know how we will spend it but we will find a way to make sure it reaches the pockets of our needy groups and friends.

Up 50 Down 6

Olav on Jan 21, 2023 at 12:55 pm

I heard Marco Mendicino on a Yukon CBC radio interview.
Speaks well, but doesn't listen!
His mandate is gun control.
The funds allocated in this project are part of the big picture-gun control-both illegal and legal guns.

Up 76 Down 6

Detention on Jan 21, 2023 at 11:02 am

How about just some consequences for crime, using the police and court system we already pay for? We all know this money will go toward snuggling the little f@@kers.

Up 65 Down 12

Dallas on Jan 21, 2023 at 10:27 am

Cabot Hanley Mendocino are so outa touch with it’s a miracle they can find their way across the parking lot.

Up 46 Down 6

Which one of us is actually the inmate said the Young Gun in a moment of confusion… on Jan 21, 2023 at 7:49 am

Pretty serious on the drug front all right... Does anyone else recall the picture of the Young Guns softball team with the drug dealers from Surrey, an RCMP officer, a Corrections Officer, and two Probation Officers all from the Whitehorse Correctional Community… All beaming with pride about their winning successes… Just like the politicos in this picture here…

Nothing says rehabilitation like the teamwork of winners… Nice!
This is the complicity of our back water northern reality… Drugs, guns, and money - Good work Yukon!

And by the way this is within the last 10 years… So, pretty messed up stuff!

Up 63 Down 7

Eminem on Jan 21, 2023 at 7:32 am

To believe that somehow using this money will somehow affect Whitehorse levels of crime is, as my grandfather used to say, a farce. What could and would affect levels of crime is dealing with the criminal and using a victim first approach to bail and jail…it is so simple. Just another liberal throw money at whatever, in hopes to get a vote.

Up 41 Down 12

Mike on Jan 21, 2023 at 7:24 am

A million dollars to help our children to make healthy choices. Hmmmm all I'm getting from this is the committing a crime by taking the money. What programs and initiatives does the city of Whitehorse plan on using to do such things. The upbringing begins at home in church and social gatherings that don't have beer gardens for the adults. Healthy choices are practiced by healthy parents and lifestyles, so selling this thing as anything but a money grab is nonsense. I've raised 4 sons none of whom have been to jail or the crack shack or safe injection sight so all your programs and initiatives are a waste of time hold teachers responsible for teaching your children a education and let the parents and their social circle together with a good grip on faith in God and I guarantee you will not be disappointed in your children. Have a great weekend everyone.

Up 57 Down 10

Juniper Jackson on Jan 21, 2023 at 5:07 am

Young thieves don't want a 'recreational activity", they don't want counselling, the don't want government leading their lives either. Most young crooks between the ages of say, 12 or 13 and 19 or so, know everything in the world that there ever was to know. Everything. You can't tell a teenager anything.

The criminal mentality is already there. They want money, they want those ear things, computers, i-phones, some want drugs, they all want booze,.Some want the kick of just doing it. It's like an extreme sport to them. They are not afraid of breaking into your house or car because the courts will do nothing if they are caught. Fortunately, most of these kids are going to straighten out. Some won't. I was never a criminal, but when I look back at my teen years, its a miracle that i got out of them alive. I think, the government has to back off and let parents..parent. Instead of kids "i know my rights", let the parents decide what their childs 'rights" are.

1 million dollars of tax payers money and Trudeau has raised personal income taxes 15% every year that he's been in office. Our dollar tanked, inflation is off the wall. If Trudeau's Libs were not already noted for their enormous spending on the countries credit card, I'd think their was an election coming.

Ha Ha Trudeau, the jokes on you..I have lots of toilet paper stashed away.

Up 68 Down 8

iBrian on Jan 21, 2023 at 3:52 am

Must be an election coming. If they really wanted to get tough on criminals, we would have stiffer penalties for criminals.
All these Rapists and Murderers are getting off on Gladue reports and Liberal bleeding heart judges.
If we really had a Justice System, it would be the same penalties across the board. No get out of jail free cards.

Up 55 Down 6

Far Canal on Jan 21, 2023 at 3:40 am

How about some money, if that’s what is needed, to overhaul the judicial system so that it, er, oh I don’t know, WORKS!

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