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COVID-19 Department of Justice Services update

06 May 2020

Department of Justice Services Update - May 6, 2020

The Government of Nunavut has various programs and services that are available to support victims and survivors of violence. We want to remind Nunavummiut that we are still here, and we can help during this very difficult time. We are aware that life is very difficult for many families and individuals and it can put added stress on a home. You should not feel isolated or alone, we are here to help.

Individuals are asked to contact the on-call Family Abuse Intervention Act (FAIA) line if they have any questions or need support using the following number 1-844-534-1038. The call will be assessed to determine the support needed and directed to a Community Justice Specialist who can help with applications and resource referrals.

The Victim Services Office is closed to the public at this time. However, Nunavummiut who need to contact the office can do so by calling the Toll-Free line at 1-866-456-5216 or emailing victimservices@gov.nu.ca. Services will be provided on a case-by-case basis.


Department of Justice Services Update - May 1, 2020

Community Justice

Our service delivery with clients remains consistent with the previously amended service delivery process. In-person meetings are restricted to emergency situations where the client has no access to a phone or safe location to contact our service providers over the phone. Individuals are asked to contact the on-call Family Abuse Intervention Act (FAIA) line if they have any questions or need support using the following number 1-844-534-1038. The call will be assessed to determine the support needed and directed to a Community Justice Specialist who can help with applications and resource referrals.

Community Corrections

All local community corrections offices continue to be closed to the public until further notice. All community corrections clients are to report by phone to their Regional Managers.

The list of contacts can be found at: https://www.gov.nu.ca/justice


Department of Justice Services Update - April 24, 2020

The Department of Justice worked with the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) to prepare a new Order Respecting Social Distancing and Mass Gatherings to ensure the language is clear and understandable while remaining true to the order. This new order will come into effect on Friday, April 24, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. 

In addition, it is the Department of Justice’s hope the questions and answers below will provide additional clarity and will help Nunavummiut better understand the purpose of this order.

When can an enforcement officer enter into my home or public facility?

In the Orders being issues by the CPHO, there is a clear distinction between a building where you live, a “dwelling”, and a public facility, such as a grocery store.

Under these Orders, the CPHO has provided enforcement Officers with the authority to enter into public facilities without a warrant for enforcement purposes.

When it comes to your home, however, the government firmly recognizes your rights and the obligation of enforcement officers to take all reasonable measures to respect those rights. If an enforcement officer believes there is reason to enter into your home, they will need to get your permission, or get a warrant from the Court.

Who can enforce these Orders?

In addition to RCMP officers, and to ensure we have the capacity to enforce the emergency orders, the CPHO has authorized all peace officers who are appointed under territorial law, the ability to enforce the orders. This includes municipal enforcement officers, the sheriffs from the Nunavut Court of Justice, the environmental inspectors, and the wildlife officers.

Normally these officers can only enforce their own legislation. However, the emergency order grants them additional powers. To ensure those charged with protecting the health of Nunavummiut are prepared to take on this task, they will be provided with clear guidelines on their responsibility.

The CPHO authorized these peace officers for a number of reasons:

The RCMP may experience staff shortages during the pandemic and may need not be able to address this added responsibility;

The authorized peace officers are already familiar with and have had training in enforcement procedures under territorial legislation;

The orders affect entry into territorial parks and other on-the-land activities, where wildlife officers are often the first point of contact; and

Municipal enforcement officers are experienced with issuing tickets under municipal by-laws and are recognized as an enforcement body within Nunavut communities.

The CPHO is working with officials from the RCMP, the Government of Nunavut and municipalities to ensure consistent messaging and enforcement across the territory.

What do I do if I am concerned the Orders are not being followed?

Your local RCMP detachment can help and should be used as your first point of contact. If you are concerned, please contact your local RCMP detachment.

As we move forward, we will continue to monitor, review and amend these orders as necessary. Our measures will be balanced against the need to fight Covid-19. When we are no longer living under threat of this virus, we will no longer be in need of such measures.

 


Department of Justice Services Update - April 1, 2020

Adjusted services:

Victims Services

The Victim Services Office is closed to the public at this time. However, Nunavummiut who need to contact the office can do so by using the following contact information:

  • Victim Services Toll Free 1-866-456-5216; victimservices@gov.nu.ca.
  • Services will be provided on a case by case basis.

Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee

As of today, April 1, 2020, the Office of the Public Guardian will be joining the Office of the Public Trustee within the Department of Justice. This new office will be the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee. All contact information remains the same.
Once the Office reopens after the public health emergency, it will be located on the first floor of the Brown Building in Iqaluit. Legal Registries has moved to the 4th floor of 1106 Inuksugait building in Iqaluit.
Due to the office relocation, clients may experience slight delays in phone and email responses. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Department of Justice Services Update - March 31, 2020

The Corrections division has been working diligently at all levels to ensure we have plans in place to support our staff, our inmates and the community throughout this public health emergency. There is currently a great deal of information in the media from other jurisdictions about what is happening within correctional facilities in other jurisdictions.

To ensure Nunavummiut are up to date and aware of the current steps being taken in Nunavut, we are providing the following update. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure the virus does not enter the correctional facilities.

Measures already in place include suspending all outside visitation and non-essential traffic. We appreciate the patience and support we have received from inmates and their families in taking this step as we are aware this is not easy.

Given the heightened security risks associated with corrections, we cannot provide specific details regarding our individual institutional plans.

However, we can provide the following information regarding steps begin taken:

  • All intakes are being isolated for a period of 14 days upon intake.
  • Institutions have added additional hand sanitizing stations in high traffic areas.
  • Response/containment kits are being outfitted with gloves, masks, face shields, gowns and instructions for use.
  • Nurses are diligently screening inmates upon intake for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Facilities are increasing food and supply orders to ensure facilities are well stocked in the event of an outbreak.
  • Increased cleaning protocols to ensure communal surfaces are cleaned on an increased schedule throughout the day.

In addition to these health and safety steps being taken, the department has reviewed all inmates eligible for early release to reduce the inmate population as much as possible.

We will continue to take action that will support the health and safety of our inmates, staff and all Nunavummiut.


Department of Justice Services Update - March 27, 2020

Adjusted services:

The Labour Standards Office will still be available to provide services at this time. As all government offices are closed to the public at this time, the Labour Standards Office can be contacted by phone using the following numbers:

  • Phone:1-867-975-6322, Toll Free: 1-877-806-8402, Fax: 1-867-975-6367

The Office is still available to answers questions Nunavummiut may have regarding the Labour Standards Act and Regulations.

As minimum wage is set to increase on April 1, 2020, the Manager of the Labour Standards Office is available to answer questions businesses may have at this time regarding compliance.


Department of Justice Services Update - March 26, 2020

The department will continue to develop education and training opportunities that support Inuit employment within justice services.

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

  • Given the current situation, the department, in consultation with Algonquin College, has officially cancelled the Program for Inuit Correctional Caseworkers which was set to begin on campus in Ottawa on May 4, 2020. 

Department of Justice Services Update - March 25, 2020

All local community corrections offices are closed to the public until further notice. All community corrections clients are to report by phone to their Regional Managers.

The list of contacts can be found at: https://www.gov.nu.ca/justice


Department of Justice Services Update - March 20, 2020

Should you have any inquires regarding any court matters, we invite you to contact the Registrar either by phone or email.

Adjusted services:

  • As of Monday, March 23, 2020, the Court house will be closed to the public.
  • As of Monday, March 23, 2020, the Legal Registries office will be closed to the public.
  • Individuals can still access services by contacting 867 975-6590 or emailing Corporate.Registries@gov.nu.ca.
  • Family Support services are ongoing. The office will be closed to the public. For information regarding your personal information, please contact the office by phone at 867-975-6112 or via email at fsp@gov.nu.ca.
  • Court registry will be available to support the public over the phone and through email. Please use the following contact information for service.
    • If your matter involves criminal or youth proceedings, please contact the criminal Registrar at 867 975-6101; ncj.criminal@gov.nu.ca.
    • If your matter involves civil, family or children law proceedings please contact the Civil Registrar 867 975-6102; ncj.civil@gov.nu.ca.
    • If your matter involves civil enforcement, please contact the sheriff office at 867 975-6103; ncj.sheriff@gov.nu.ca.
       

Department of Justice Services Update, March 19, 2020

Individuals are asked to contact the on-call Family Abuse Intervention Act (FAIA) line if they have any questions or need support using the following number 1-844-534-1038.  The call will be assessed to determine the support needed and directed to a Community Justice Specialist who can help with applications and resource referrals.

The department of Justice will continue to provide support to Nunavummiut under the Family Abuse Intervention Act during this time. Safety is still our number one concern and we will continue to ensure our services are available where needed.

The Department of Justice is focusing on the health and safety of staff, inmates and the communities. We have developed contingency plans to ensure we are able to continue operations.

Ongoing services:

  • Front line services under community justice will continue.
  • Nunavut Court of Justice will continue to hear urgent matters during this time.
  • Unless otherwise stated, remaining departmental services are expected to operate as usual. Updates are provided daily. 

Adjusted services:

  • The Department of Justice is asking all community corrections clients to report by phone to their Community Corrections Officer.

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

  • Community corrections offices will be closed for in-person client visits until further notice.
  • Nunavut Community Justice offices will be closed to the public, starting on Monday, March 23, 2020.
  • All visitations to the facilities are suspended to ensure the health and safety of our inmates and staff.
  • The Nunavut Court of Justice (NCJ) has suspended regular operations.