Iqaluit’s proposed community safety plan focuses on mental health, access to food

Public safety committee meets for first time in nearly two years

The City of Iqaluit’s public safety committee backed a new community safety plan, which proposes addressing mental health and food security, among other other areas. (Photo by Jeff Pelletier)

By Jeff Pelletier - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A proposed new public safety plan for Iqaluit prioritizes addressing mental health and addiction issues and improving food security, among other areas.

The city’s human resources director Rod Mugford presented the Iqaluit Community Safety Plan at the city’s public safety committee meeting Thursday, its first in nearly two years.

On mental health and addictions, the plan cites a “need for accessible and comprehensive mental health services to support individuals in crisis and prevent further escalation of these situations.”

It says “strengthening access to mental health services, supports and training, providing early intervention programs, and promoting mental well-being are critical components of a crime prevention approach.”

To ensure community members have access to safe and reliable food sources, one option highlighted includes working with hunters’ organizations.

To improve a feeling of community inclusion among youth, the plan emphasizes creating an environment for young people where they “feel safe, engaged, and connected.”

“Through culturally grounded programming, we seek to provide them with opportunities for growth, learning, and positive experiences,” the plan says.

Coun. Amber Aglukark, who chairs the committee, emphasized the need to collaborate with community members as this proposed plan is implemented.

Deputy Mayor Kim Smith said the city would need to work with other levels of government to implement the plan. She also asked why the plan did not include anything about safety issues caused by the community’s many loose dogs.

Mugford said the plan will serve as a “building block” to address other safety issues in the community, even if they were not specifically mentioned in the plan.

“We have plans beyond this initial plan,” Mugford said. “Definitely, that will be a part of our community safety plan.”

The 17-member committee — which includes three city councillors as well as city staff and several members at large — voted unanimously to move the community safety plan to be heard by city council at a future meeting.

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(8) Comments:

    • Posted by Northerner on

      Tired of working for a living , thinking of quieting , go on social assitance , go join the line , so i can get ” FREE STUFF”

  1. Posted by Tired on

    In addition to Kim’s note about dogs I would like to see this plan include more robust policing that is FAR less reactive than what we currently see. It’s frustrating that very few proactive measures seem to be taken to deal with the overt drug dealing that happens in Iqaluit. Maybe there is more happening behind-the-scenes that I don’t see but if that’s the case then the results are taking too long.

  2. Posted by Maui on

    Back in the 70s and 80s we addressed issues like what to do in case of major power failure or comprised water. We didn’t need to discuss mental health on a wide scale. Now the times have changed in a big way and we can see it openly in the streets that children are troubled. Their future is uncertain if something isn’t done to intervene. I’m just not sure what the city of Iqaluit can do at at a municipal level.

  3. Posted by 867 on

    There is no real food insecurity in the north, only financial illiteracy.

    • Posted by Maui on

      True enough. I know that when we were out of food that the Muslim community was there for my family and the general food bank was accessible.

  4. Posted by Getting bad on

    Happy know there is a public safety committee but aren’t sure what powers they have. I believe a council member mentioned about the hard drugs in the past and this cannot be forgotten. It’s to the point kids are seeing it and it’s being accessible. This past summer was terrible with drunks and drugs and will probably follow suit this summer, something needs to be done. I don’t think the rcmp will be able to keep up so this town will need to be proactive in helping. Having so much drunks and violence isn’t okay, work with the rcmp and Inuit leaders to teach people to behave better.

  5. Posted by S on

    Since there is no way that any self-respecting councillor would believe in this baizuo talk, one must wonder what are the real motives of this lot

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