CBRM partners with federal government on youth intervention program

June 29, 2015

SYDNEY, NS - The Cape Breton Regional Municipality is partnering with the Government of Canada on the largest youth crime prevention program of its kind in Atlantic Canada.

Today, the federal government announced $3.9 million over 5 years for the RELAYS program (Resiliency Education Leadership Adventure and Youth Service) led by the Cape Breton Regional Police Service. This is the single largest crime prevention program in Atlantic Canada from the National Crime Prevention Strategy's Crime Prevention Fund.

See Public Safety news release here: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=993699

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality council has approved $120,000 per year for this program over five years, bringing the overall program investment, so far, to $4.5 million.

"This program will reach youth throughout our municipality with locations in Glace Bay, Whitney Pier, New Waterford, the Northside, Sydney and Eskasoni," said Mayor Cecil Clarke. "This is a significant and meaningful step toward a better outcome for those youth in our community who are struggling."

The program will fund 24 full-time and part-time coordinators and youth workers supporting 70 at-risk youth each year. The workers will focus on supporting the teens in positive ways to overcome drug abuse, anger management issues and other challenges that put them at risk for criminal behaviour.

Police Chief Peter McIsaac says the program will target youth aged 12-17 and create a promising future for hundreds of young people in our community who would otherwise be on the wrong path.

"This program offers a tremendous opportunity to make a long-term positive and preventative impact to address the cycle of drug use and criminal activity," said Chief McIsaac. "It's about engaging youth, breaking down barriers and building relationships and trust at this critical age. It's crime prevention at its best and it's how we create healthy and safe communities."