Thank you, Mr. Chairman. In response to the last question about the Yellowknife youth justice committee, a committee had existed for some time and recently has been, because of resignations and a change in the support to that committee by the government, reverted to a volunteer basis. There was a perceived conflict of interest as well because of some of the staff who were involved in the previous committee. That has been carried away. The local justice specialist is working with this volunteer group to get them back on track and make sure they have the administrative support to do the work they have set out to do. There is a youth justice committee operating on a volunteer basis in Yellowknife at this time.
The way that the department organizes their approach for the youth is corrections still has legal obligations to take care of young offenders by legislation. The Member raises a good point, with the institution being the way it is, are corrections staff sufficiently flexible in their thinking to be innovative and meet the perceived needs of communities that start to articulate them? I think it's a good question. The staff that I work with believe we have the kind of capabilities to be adaptable. I would go with that judgement.
There are two different roles here. The support we give to community justice at the local level is done primarily through community justice specialists and these are the people who help communities put together ideas and approaches for meeting the needs of young and adult offenders. Once there is some sort of agreement made or proposal made by the community, then it is the corrections people who try to set it up to make it operational. Once it is operational, it is corrections that handles it. The community justice side, as such, does not have the capacity to handle the operational side of these agreements as we hope they materialize.
In the budget, we have about $900,000 or so set aside for committee work, both committees dealing with youth and adult offenders and justice committees. There is money available for projects that are initiated as a result of these committees. I'm not certain if I missed anything the Member raised. I took particular note of his concern about whether corrections, as it is or has been, is historically flexible enough as an institution to loosen up and try to be flexible in the mandates they meet
through legislation. I think it is a good assertion to make and for us to try to answer with certainty. Mahsi.