TORONTO, May 9 /CNW/ - More than two dozen MPPs and political aides
attended a breakfast briefing at Queen's Park today where they were
told by OPSEU corrections officers that proposed jail closings in Owen
Sound, Walkerton and Sarnia are unnecessary and will take good jobs
from those communities.
Hosted by members of OPSEU's 'Save Our Jails' campaign, the briefing
provided a timely opportunity to explain how the closures will harm the
economies of local communities by eliminating well-paying local jobs
and transferring them elsewhere.
And, contrary to the government's position that the closures will be
"cost effective," the corrections officers told the MPPs that, in fact,
the transfer of inmates to Penetanguishe (from Walkerton and Owen
Sound) will actually increase costs because of greater travel
"No matter how you cut it, this was a bad decision made for all the
wrong reasons," said Gerry Hope, president of Local 225 representing
corrections officers in Walkerton. "The government should stop the
closures pending a full review of its decision."
Correctional facilities in Walkerton and Owen Sound could close as soon
as Aug. 31. Sarnia is scheduled to close in 2013. In addition, a
200-inmate wing at West Toronto Detention Centre is scheduled to shut
down in 2012 with staff being transferred to Windsor.
Corrections officers are calling for a review in which all groups,
including frontline workers, community support organizers, police and
probation officers and representatives of the local community justice
system, can examine alternatives to shutting down the facilities.
MPPs from all parties, including Liberal cabinet ministers Kathleen Wynn
and John Garretsen, attended the breakfast briefing which was held in
the Legislative dining room at Queen's Park.
Neither Carol Mitchell, MPP for Huron-Bruce, or Bill Murdoch, MPP, for
Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, nor representatives from their offices, attended
SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
For further information:
OPSEU Local 225