Representatives of the Alberta and Saskatchewan governments and the City of Lloydminster came together last week to congratulate the community mobilization Hub program.
Hub is an initiative that builds partnerships between governmental organizations and community- led organizations, with the aim to reduce crime and victimization throughout the city.
Saskatchewan Attorney General Gordon Wyant was on hand to congratulate the Hub in Lloydminster.
“It’s a way to look at issues when they come forward,” Wyant said of the Hub program. “It’s a collaboration of agencies from Health and Social Services, and they get together and they try and identify where there are issues which need early intervention.
“Then from there they get together and collaborate and try and find a solution.”
With the Hub program continuing to grow around the province, Wyant said that when agencies get together, they can find ways to intervene early and reduce the chances of criminal activities in the community.
“We have seen that it works since the inception in Price Albert, we have a significant reduction in crime, so (the Saskatchewan government) knows it works,” said Wyant.
“And we know that it works in other communities in Saskatchewan as well.”
Currently there are 10 communities in Saskatchewan that have the Hub program operational.
“We currently have two communities in Saskatchewan that are looking to establish the Hub program, and any community that is looking at establishing a Hub, we are encouraging them to do that,” the attorney general said. “This is a community-driven program. Once communities have decided to move forward with the Hub then we are certainly there for support.”
Vermilion-Lloydminster MLA Richard Starke, who was on hand for the presentation, said that the success that the program has had over the last year in Lloydminster is attributed to the number of agencies that are working together.
“It’s contributed to the number of community organizations that are sharing resources and sharing information. That collaboration is critical to the success of the program,” he said.
“The fact that there are 10 communities in Saskatchewan (using Hub,) the attorney general in Alberta is taking a very close look at the program,” Starke said that Alberta communities face the same obstacles that Saskatchewan communities do.
“Alberta and Saskatchewan are very similar in many ways. With the kinds of economic growth and growth pressures, that can be great for communities, but this really demonstrates a solution that works.”
Starke said that he will be speaking with Minister of Justice Jonathan Denis and Human Services Minister Heather Klimchuk.
“Human Service ends up being, quite often, the agency that is tasked with dealing with individuals and families, our goal is always to have safe and secure communities,“said Starke.
Lloydminster RCMP Staff Sgt. Suki Manji said that since he started in Lloydminster, he and the RCMP have made a commitment to bring high-risk families and individuals to the Hub and provide another type of service.
“(The Hub) provides a service that we can’t sometimes do on our own, so it’s been a good thing,” he said.
Manji said that the program has seen some crime reduction.
Usually crime is based on social, economical and housing issues, Manji said. He added that the groups in Lloydminster that deal with these issues are part of the Hub.
“We can bring individuals that are dealing with these issue for help, and get them out of the crime cycle,” he said.