The Government of Yukon releases Downtown Whitehorse Safety Response Action Plan

The Hon. Ranj Pillai, Premier of Yukon addresses the audience on Thursday December  21, 2023 during the Yukon Government’s release of the Downtown Whitehorse safety response plan.

To ensure that downtown Whitehorse remains a welcoming place where Yukoners feel safe and supported and proud to call it home, the Government of Yukon has released the Downtown Whitehorse Safety Response Action Plan. This living document was developed in collaboration with community partners and summarizes the actions taken to date and future actions to help shape a safe, supportive and thriving downtown Whitehorse.

The plan is intended to be flexible and responsive, focusing on immediate and long-term solutions, such as increasing housing security, expanding support services and increasing public safety. It will serve as a roadmap to guide government efforts to address challenges related to homelessness, addiction and community safety.

The action plan was developed with input from community partners, Yukon First Nations, downtown residents and local businesses. The Government of Yukon recognizes that community challenges related to colonialism, homelessness, addiction and cost of living cannot be solved by one level of government alone. Continued collaboration with partners is key to ensuring that the diverse perspectives, voices and expertise essential in developing the plan are actively involved in its implementation.

Immediate next steps include continued engagement with partners, operationalizing additional locations for satellite food services and building on the actions outlined in the Downtown Whitehorse Safety Response Action Plan.

Our government is committed to working with partners to help keep Whitehorse a place where residents and visitors feel safe and everyone can access the supports and services they need. I want to thank everyone who provided feedback and resources that led to the development of our Downtown Whitehorse Safety Response Action Plan. I am proud of the collaboration and hard work done to date, and I look forward to continued work with our partners and the community to enhance community safety.

Premier Ranj Pillai

The Downtown Whitehorse Safety Response Action Plan illustrates our government’s next steps as we work to enhance the safety, health and overall feeling of wellbeing in the community. This living document is rooted in partnership and focused on solutions, such as applying principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, decentralizing some services and operationalizing a residential managed alcohol program. We are committed to continuing to engage with those who live and work downtown and working collaboratively to shape a safe, supportive and thriving community.

Minister of Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee

Quick facts 
  • The Downtown Whitehorse Safety Response Action Plan contains medium- and long-term actions aimed at enhancing the safety, health and overall wellbeing of downtown Whitehorse. 

  • It is a living document that was developed through work with community partners, Yukon First Nations, service providers, downtown businesses and individual Yukoners. 

  • Medium-term priorities to be underway in the next 12 months include:

    • decentralizing services downtown, including food services and culturally safe programming;
    • securing options for additional supportive and emergency housing.
    • Operationalizing a residential managed alcohol program to reduce harms associated with chronic alcohol use disorder;
    • improving safety on Alexander Street by applying Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles and by exploring new options for the management of 408 Alexander Street through an request for proposals; 
    • extending hours at the Supervised Consumption Site;
    • continuing to engage with downtown residents, businesses, NGOs, Yukon First Nations and residents with lived experience; and
    • discussing appropriate levels of emergency service accessibility and policy standards to better meet the needs of the community.
  • Longer term plans that will require at least a year to achieve include:

    • reviewing policies for emergency housing facilities and diversifying options that exist to meet support needs;
    • finalizing Yukon’s rapid response to homelessness strategy;
    • working with the private sector to bring more affordable housing online quickly; and
    • building more Yukon Housing Corporation community housing units to alleviate YHC waitlist and By-Name List pressures.
  • A number of initiatives have already been completed. These include:

  • The Department of Justice will lead work with the City of Whitehorse on a community safety and wellbeing plan in 2024.

  • If anyone has feedback they would like to share about community safety in downtown Whitehorse in general, they can contact the Department of Justice at

Media contact 

Laura Seeley
Cabinet Communications

Zachary Burke
Communications, Health and Social Services

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