TORONTO, May 28, 2013 /CNW/ - The President of the Ontario Public
Service Employees Union is demanding that Community Safety and
Correctional Services Minister Madeleine Meilleur immediately apologize
for statements made in the Ontario Legislature that correctional staff
at London's Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre (EMDC) aren't properly
doing their jobs.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas is infuriated that the Minister would try to
blame the women and men, who put their lives on the line every day, for
a rash of assaults on staff over the past three days.
"That Minister Meilleur would have the gall to accuse correctional
officers for safety problems in the facility just proves how out of her
depth she is," Thomas said.
In response to opposition questions Tuesday, Meilleur stated that staff
are not properly doing their jobs, allowing for drugs and weapons to
come in the facility, and that management is not to blame.
"This jail has a long and documented history of dangerous overcrowding
and understaffing, and the Minister blames the correctional officers?"
Thomas said. "Last fall, the Minister put a plan in place to fix this
facility, and so far it's only gotten worse. If that's the best the
Minister's managers can do, then it's time for Meilleur to step aside
and let someone run this Ministry who knows what they are doing."
Thomas asks the Minister do the right thing and immediately apologize
for her statements today.
"Minister Meilleur needs to say she is sorry for her accusations, and
make a pledge that she will fix the problems at EMDC instead of blaming
the officers for her Ministry's failures," Thomas said. "Anything less
is a slap in the face to the officers and everything they risk to do
their jobs protecting the people of Ontario."
For further information:
Warren (Smokey) Thomas 613-329-1931