Province Accepts All Nunn Commission Recommendations

first_imgThe province is taking action on recommendations from the Nunn Commission to improve community safety, prevent crime and enhance services for young people. The government announced today, Jan. 10, that all 34 recommendations made by Commissioner Merlin Nunn have been accepted and it will invest an initial $3 million to begin implementation. “Two years ago, all Nova Scotians were saddened at the tragic and senseless death of Theresa McEvoy, and we called the Nunn Commission to learn how similar tragedies can be prevented in the future,” said Justice Minister Murray Scott. “We are acting on this opportunity to set a course for a brighter future for youth in need, and improved safety for our communities.” Mr. Scott was joined by the ministers of Community Services, Health, Education, and Health Promotion and Protection to announce $1 million in funding to hire a senior official responsible for youth, to develop the youth strategy and to create a new family and youth services division; $461,000 to hire more mental health professionals to reduce delays in completing court-ordered assessments and $300,000 to hire two new Crown attorneys specializing in youth crime. As well, $1.3 million has been committed to support the new attendance centre and bail supervision program in Halifax Regional Municipality. Further investments for 2007-08, and for future years, will be guided by the consultation that Commissioner Nunn recommends with justice partners, and in the development of the provincial youth strategy. “Progress will not get lost in process,” said Mr. Scott. “To meet our accountability to Nova Scotians, we will issue a progress report on all recommendations within six months, by June. “Perhaps the clearest signal of our commitment is that more than half of Commissioner Nunn’s recommendations have already been completed or are underway,” he said. The Department of Community Services will lead in developing the comprehensive strategy for children and youth services in Nova Scotia. “We recognize that we can achieve the most success by supporting families and children in the early years,” said Community Services Minister Judy Streatch. “We will immediately begin work on a provincial strategy that focuses on the needs of children and youth. Our new family and youth services division will enable us to increase our support for families, particularly in the areas of early intervention, family counselling and youth at risk.” Recommendations on youth criminal justice will also be addressed. Commissioner Nunn made several recommendations to shorten the time it takes a youth’s case to proceed through the courts, and encouraged the province to continue advocating for improvements to the federal Youth Criminal Justice Act. “We need to ensure strong enforcement measures are in place, while looking at ways to speed up court processing times,” said Mr. Scott. “Today’s investment in court ordered assessments will help in the short-term, while we work with Justice partners to identify other solutions.” Mr. Scott has also met several times with the former federal justice minister to discuss Nova Scotia’s call for improvements to the Youth Criminal Justice Act, and spoke with the new minister earlier this week. “On behalf of this government, I want to extend my appreciation to Commissioner Nunn and Ms. McEvoy’s family for their unwavering commitment to ensuring that this inquiry leads to strengthened services and support for Nova Scotia’s youth and communities, said Mr. Scott. “We are committed to meeting this challenge, in memory of Theresa and for the benefit of all Nova Scotians.”last_img