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October 16, 2023
The Government of Yukon is committed to protecting the safety and wellbeing of all Yukoners. In support of this commitment and in keeping with the implementation plan for Changing the Story to Upholding Dignity and Justice: Yukon’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit+ People Strategy and Call for Justice 5.8 of the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, the Yukon’s Missing Persons Act came into force today.
The Act details what information the RCMP can access when someone goes missing in the Yukon while balancing an individual’s right to privacy. It is designed to help police complete missing persons investigations quickly and successfully by allowing fast access to important information.
This legislation supports the goals of coordinated and effective violence prevention, intervention and crisis response across the Yukon to contribute to safer and healthier communities for Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit+ People, as discussed in both the implementation plan for Changing the Story to Upholding Dignity and Justice and Call for Justice 5.8.
In the years of work to develop the Missing Persons Act and Regulation, the Government of Yukon engaged with women’s organizations in the Yukon, Yukon First Nations and the RCMP. The coming into force of this legislation brings the Yukon in line with other jurisdictions across Canada.
The Act strikes a balance between police powers and maintaining individual rights to privacy by:
The Missing Persons Act represents an important step forward in helping our police service locate missing persons quickly and with a positive outcome, while also protecting individual privacy rights. This legislation is also an important part of our implementation plan for Changing the Story to Upholding Dignity and Justice: Yukon’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit+ People Strategy. This reflects our government’s commitment to strengthening the safety and security of all Yukoners as well as our efforts to continue to modernize Yukon laws and to have laws that respond to their needs.
– Minister of Justice Tracy-Anne McPhee
While the Yukon RCMP has previously leveraged as many resources and partnerships as possible to find missing persons, the new Missing Persons Act will help us respond to incidents in an even more informed and efficient way. We hope to see the Act significantly advance the safe and rapid recovery of missing persons and further contribute to the overall safety of our territory.
– Yukon RCMP Chief Superintendent Scott Sheppard