Cash fights crime
Yellowknife organizations get $190,000 for prevention work

Dawn Ostrem
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (May 03/00) - The federal government has put its cash behind fighting crime in the North. Youth crime prevention initiatives will get $566,030 of the federal money.

Of the 26 projects ongoing throughout the Northwest Territories, eight are in the Yellowknife area, which will receive a total of $190,000. Funding was announced during a special presentation at J.H. Sissons school last week.

"It certainly meets our needs and I'm pleased to see the government putting money towards eliminating the problem," said Miriam Wideman, executive director of the Yellowknife Association for Community Living, the group that helps facilitate the Yellowknife programs. "We're trying to help people work with kids to support them the way they need to be so they don't end up in places like jail."

The association received $50,000 last year to produce a video for families raising children with fetal alcohol syndrome.

The federal money was spent over the past year and a half through the National Strategy on Community Safety and Crime Prevention. A Joint Management Committee, made up of federal and territorial bodies as well as community representatives, decides where the money should be invested.

"We've been dealing with so many difficult issues regarding young people," said Western Arctic MP and secretary of state for children and youth Ethel Blondin-Andrew. She joined other dignitaries to make the announcement and added that it is important that teachers, parents and other caregivers take part in ensuring these programs are a success.

"I'm happy about the resources but I'm worried whether the other chunk of support will come," she added.

Gunther Laube, co-chair of the Joint Management Committee, said the programs chosen must show clearly defined goals.

"Within each proposal that is submitted there is clearly a focus on how that program is going to work," he said.