The City of North Battleford will soon receive funding for a large-scale community safety initiative involving four levels of government working together.
Mayor Ryan Bater confirmed the city will collect $51,000 from Indigenous Services Canada's Urban Programming for Indigenous Peoples (UPIP) to use in 2018 until the end of March 2019.
The major focus of the funding is to support and implement a plan to bring together a multi-government steering committee representing all levels of government — municipal, Indigenous, provincial and federal — as well as local stakeholders, to help identify local priorities and needs in the Indigenous and North Battleford communities.
"Really, it’s about aligning all of these governments together so we can collaborate, develop plans and to address our priorities," Bater said.
The city also applied to other sources of funding and is still waiting to find out whether these requests will be approved. Staff hope to receive roughly $75,000 for the project.
The funds will be used to develop employment contracts with several individuals to take on the work.
Bater added the city needs professional resource people to help the multi-government partnership. They will be responsible for conducting research and assisting the committee, working with senior levels of government.
"That's going to require a lot of report writing," the mayor said. "You need the right people to be helping you."
The city started work on this project last year after receiving funding from Indigenous Services Canada in 2017. This is the second year of the project.
"It's a matter of continuing that important work we had done last winter," Bater said.
Ultimately, the aim of the initiative is to make North Battleford safer.
"We said for a long time addressing the challenges that we have in this area it's very difficult for a local government — whether it's an Indigenous government or a municipal government," said Bater.
He added the committee will be working on addressing the root causes of crime, and look into the impact of poverty, addictions issues and mental illness in the community.
The multi-government steering committee is a North Battleford SAGE (Safety, Acceptance, Guidance, Empowerment) initiative.
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