Québec City, September 27, 2019 – The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Québec, Ms. Sonia Lebel applauds the introduction of the Court of Québec addiction treatment program (CQATP) in Puvirnituq: the Nunavik Wellness Court.
In place at the Montréal Courthouse since 2012, this program strives to prevent and reduce the number of crimes committed in association with drug or alcohol addiction. Through increasingly personalized measures, the CQATP provides offenders grappling with substance addiction, the opportunity to benefit from a respectful approach focused on rehabilitation and social reintegration.
This Saqijuq initiative, created by Nunavik, initially rolled out on September 20, 2019 as a one-year pilot project targeting the residents of the Northern village of Puvirnituq, is helping to break the cycle of drug addiction and related criminal activities. Saqijuq partners suggested that a wellness Court in Nunavik would better address the over-judicialization deriving from addictions. The program also offers to the Court of Quebec an alternative to sentencing, that is a rehabilitation plan for the offender, when the offender and the prosecutor consent to it.
In addition to the Ministère de la Justice du Québec, the Court of Québec and the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, the initiative’s implementation was facilitated by the support of other partners, among them the Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales, the Ministère de la Sécurité publique, Makivik Corporation, the Kativik Regional Government, the Inuulitsivik Health Centre, the Kativik Regional Police Force and the Isuarsivik Regional Recovery Centre.
“I am proud that our government and the Court of Quebec are deploying an adaptability program that is part of a tradition of rehabilitation and social reintegration. The PTTCQ, I am sure, will be able to respond to the specific needs of Aboriginals dealing with substance abuse issues and who face justice.”
Sonia LeBel, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Québec
“I am thrilled to see this program introduced in Northern Québec. Our justice system must take into consideration the realities and specific issues that Aboriginal communities are faced with. By launching the CQATP in Puvirnituq, the Government of Québec, in conjunction with partners from the justice system, has taken concrete action to address a major factor associated with crime in Northern Québec.”
Pierre Dufour, Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks and Minister responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region and the Nord-du-Québec region
“The Northern village of Puvirnituq will reap significant benefits from the Court of Québec addiction treatment program. I want to personally thank all of the workers and Aboriginal organizations that have cooperated in this innovative program’s implementation.”
Denis Lamothe, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister responsible for Indigenous Affairs and MNA for Ungava
“By offering drug-using offenders the opportunity to undergo a treatment that is tailored to their circumstances and supervised by the Court, the program relies on genuine support for these people, during and after therapy, to lead them towards lasting change in their way of life.”
The Honorable Lucie Rondeau, Chief Judge of the Court of Québec
“This regional initiative of Saqijuq, with the support of all partners, including the Government of Quebec, is now addressing an important issue based on grassroots practices led by Inuit for Inuit. It takes into consideration not only the individual, but the family and the community as a whole. This is a great example of how partners, when working together can make a difference for the betterment of Nunavimmiut.”
Minnie Grey, Saqijuq Co-Chair and Executive Director, Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services
This program, included in the Ministère de la Justice du Québec’s 2015-2020 strategic plan, is part of the new ways being introduced to administer justice. These methods notably promote rehabilitation as a means of improving the future of vulnerable populations involved with the justice system, and more specifically offenders dealing with addiction or mental health issues.
For more information regarding this program, go to the Web site of the Ministère de la justice at: www.justice.gouv.qc.ca.
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