QUÉBEC CITY, Dec. 19, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The Minister of Justice, Attorney General of Québec and Minister responsible for the Outaouais region, Stéphanie Vallée, today announced the opening of a new community justice centre in Nunavik in 2017.
"As I learned during a recent tour of the region, Nunavik has specific needs in terms of legal information and access to the justice system, especially because of the large area covered and differing cultural perceptions of justice. The network of community justice centres has already proved its worth for the relevance and quality of the services it provides for the Québec population. The opening of a new centre in Nunavik fits in naturally with our strategy to provide 12 regions in Québec with a community justice centre, and will also meet needs in the community", says the Minister.
A working group of representatives from the Inuit community and the Ministère de la Justice concluded in August 2016 that the creation of a community justice centre in Nunavik would make a significant contribution to the availability of adapted and accessible legal information for the Inuit population, in certain specific fields.
"The creation of a community justice centre in Nunavik shows that we are aware of the specific needs of Inuits in terms of justice services. The working group set up with Aboriginal representatives will coordinate the range of services offered, looking at key questions such as alternative sentencing, healing circles and community justice, in order to better match services to Inuit realities. A proper understanding of the court system is fundamental to the operation of all societies, and I firmly believe that the support provided by the community justice centre will be useful for the communities in Nunavik," states Geoffrey Kelley, Minister responsible for Native Affairs.
"Since community justice centres offer confidential services free of charge, regardless of a person's income or the legal nature of the problem involved, I believe that the centre will become an important new tool for the population in Nunavik where, because of geographic location, legal services are not readily available," says Minister Luc Blanchette, Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks and Minister responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Nord-du-Québec regions.
"The government's decision to create a community justice centre in the Nord-du-Québec region highlights our goal of taking concrete action to promote access to justice for the population in the region," adds Jean Boucher, Member for Ungava.
"We are very happy to see the creation of a community justice centre in Nunavik. It has been clear for many years that activities to provide information and raise awareness in the field of justice are needed in Nunavik, and we welcome the announcement made today as a step in the right direction," concludes Jobie Tukkiapik, President of Makivik Corporation.
About community justice centres
Québec has six community justice centres covering the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Capitale-Nationale, Montréal, Outaouais, Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean regions. They offer legal information, support and referral services free of charge, in person or by phone. Between their opening in 2010 and September 30, 2016, they dealt with over 88,000 requests for information. The centres are funded via the Access to Justice Fund under the responsibility of the Ministère de la Justice.
For more information about community justice centres, see the dedicated website at www.justicedeproximite.qc.ca.
SOURCE Cabinet de la ministre de la Justice et Procureure générale du Québec
For further information: Sources: Isabelle Marier St-Onge, Press officer, Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Québec, 418 643-4210; Chantal Gauvin, Press officer, Office of the Minister responsible for Native Affairs, 418 643-3166; Gabrielle Fallu, Press officer, Office of the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks and Minister responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Nord-du-Québec regions, 418 643-7295; Frédérique Brais-Chaput, Political attaché, Office of the Member for Ungava, 418 748-6046; Information: Paul-Jean Charest, Media relations, Ministère de la Justice du Québec, 418 644-3947, extension 20932; Vanessa Drolet, Coordinator, national communications, Centres de justice de proximité du Québec, 418-614-2470, extension 204, [email protected]