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Public safety team connects vulnerable people, services in Port Hardy

Press Release

Feb. 12, 2024

PORT HARDY – A new team in Port Hardy brings together front-line workers and service providers to deliver faster access to services to better support people and enhance public safety.

Known as situation tables, they allow a collaborative approach to complex social challenges, bringing together front-line workers from public-safety, health and social-service sectors to identify high-risk individuals and rapidly connect them to services and supports they need, before they experience a negative or traumatic event.

“Situation tables empower agencies to work together to provide holistic supports to people and lower the risk of potential violence or reoffending,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “By combining front-line workers’ expertise, the tables are strengthening the ability to respond to community safety challenges, better protecting people while swiftly connecting them to essential services.”

Port Hardy is one of 34 communities in B.C. with situation tables currently operating. The Port Hardy Table will launch this month and is comprised of 14 community partners and agencies, including representatives from public safety, education, health care, and social and Indigenous services. The team will meet on a weekly basis to discuss referrals of individuals in the region who may be facing multiple risks that will result in harm to themselves, others or the community.

“By bringing together front-line workers from multiple agencies, we are helping make sure people get the supports they need directly from the organizations that provide them,” said Michele Babchuk, MLA for North Island. “Working together is the most efficient way to proactively support vulnerable individuals and this initiative will help make Port Hardy a safer and stronger community.”

Situation tables provide a structured collaborative approach to managing complex or urgent circumstances by bringing together key groups and using systematic processes to gather and analyze data, assess risk and develop action plans to respond more effectively and efficiently to the needs of each individual.

The tables are considered a best practice for improving community safety and well-being by enabling community front-line workers to:

proactively identify risks through real-time information sharing;
reduce long-term demand on emergency and police resources;
leverage and co-ordinate existing community assets and relationships between health supports, victim services and culturally safe supports and services;
plan and deliver collaborative interventions before an incident occurs; and
reduce increased risk in people’s lives.

“The District of Port Hardy is grateful for the support and collaboration of its partners and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General,” said Patricia Corbett-Labatt, mayor of Port Hardy. “This initiative represents a significant step forward in the ongoing commitment to the well-being and safety of north Island residents.”

The Province is supporting the Port Hardy Table with a $60,000 grant to assist with implementation. Since 2018, more than $2.4 million has been provided in grant funding to B.C. regions and communities to facilitate local situation tables, Indigenous intervention circles and other related initiatives. There are currently 40 funded situation tables and intervention circles in B.C. with 34 of these currently operational while the other six are under implementation.

Situation tables are advancing the Safer Communities Action Plan’s goal of creating safe, healthy communities for everyone. The tables build on the programs, services and initiatives the Province has undertaken or implemented to strengthen enforcement to break the cycle of violence and crime, and to strengthen services to keep communities safe and healthy.

Learn More:

For more information about situation tables, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/justice/criminal-justice/policing-in-bc/collaborative-public-safety-program/situation-tables

For more information about ways the Province is making communities safer for everyone, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/safer-communities

Contact:

Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Media Relations
250 213-3602

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