Mr. Speaker, this government has made the commitment through its Mandate to support the RCMP and communities in their efforts to strengthen partnerships to prevent and respond to violence. The annual policing priorities which I set for the RCMP support this work. As in previous years the priorities for 2016 - 2017 continue to focus on the need for policing plans to be developed collaboratively by the RCMP with each community in the NWT. The priorities now go further and direct the RCMP to also have action plans for each community which will assist with targeting and bringing together resources from multiple sources.
The majority of communities have identified stopping drugs and bootlegging activities as a priority. The mutual trust gained from building the Community Action Plans has resulted in the support the police need in order to see results.
Mr. Speaker, in April and March alone, the RCMP stopped almost 235 litres of alcohol from illegal distribution in seven communities. Also in April, there were several stops of vehicles outside of Fort Providence resulting in arrests and the seizures of large amounts of cocaine, marijuana, and liquid codeine. Information from these arrests led to a significant seizure later in Yellowknife where 1,300 fentanyl pills and four kilograms of cocaine along with other drugs and over $80,000 in cash were successfully taken off the streets.
Additionally, this year’s priorities outline for the RCMP to continue to advance community-based solutions to change behaviours with youth, and change attitudes towards family violence. They do not do this work alone. Community Justice Committees made up of volunteers from within the community and coordinated by the Coordinator positions funded by the Community Justice and Community Policing Division play a significant role in this partnership and ultimately, the safety of our citizens.
We are on the right track with the RCMP 2016 - 2017 priorities. I applaud the work that the RCMP and the Department of Justice have done over the past years to enhance the quality of life in our communities. I look forward to continued progress this year.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.