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The Ontario Legislature
Tuesday, November 26, 2002
Mr Garfield Dunlop, MPP
Simcoe North

I rise in the House today to congratulate a successful public-private partnership in my riding of Simcoe North. Last night, the Ministry of Public Safety and Security, and Management and Training Corp Canada, were honoured by the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships. They jointly received the prestigious gold award for service delivery for the Central North Correctional Centre project in the town of Penetanguishene.

This award comes only one year after the Central North Correctional Centre first opened its doors. It is a fitting tribute to the high level of ongoing co-operation between the ministry, MTCC and the community.

Central North Correctional Centre, better known in my community as the superjail, is Canada's first publicly owned, privately operated adult correctional facility. MTCC manages the facility. The Ministry of Public Safety and Security ensures that MTCC meets the high safety and security standards that apply to the operation of all correctional facilities in this province.

Our positive experience with the correctional centre has attracted attention from other parts of Canada. For example, I recently hosted a delegation from Alberta at the superjail. Looking to perhaps follow an excellent lead, the province of Alberta was interested in learning about what has made the project so successful.

The correctional centre has represented a win-win situation for everyone involved, including the inmates, who benefit from rehabilitation programs, and the community, which benefits from 360 more jobs and $20 million invested directly into the community.

Last night, with the presentation of the gold award for service delivery, the jail stood out as a stellar example of how our government and the private sector can work together to better the safety and security of our citizens.

November 29, 2002
Open Letter to the Editor:

I am writing in response to a statement made by Garfield Dunlop, MPP Simcoe North in the Ontario Legislature on November 26, 2002 regarding the Central North Correctional Centre located in Penetanguishene. Mr. Dunlop made note of the award that CNCC and the Ministry of Public Safety and Security received recently from the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships. It is interesting to note that this is the same organization that made recommendations to the Walkerton Inquiry calling for increased privatization of our water supply. Justice O’Connor, after that report was submitted by the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships, strongly recommended that safe drinking water be centralized and maintained by the government. One wonders whether this organization awarding CNCC and the Ministry of Public Safety and Security is not just an organization out to make corporate profits on the backs of taxpayers.

I was appalled as I listened to Mr. Dunlop praise Management and Training Corp. Canada for operating a “correctional center (that) has represented a win-win situation for everyone involved, including the inmates.” Obviously Mr. Dunlop is quite ill-informed when it comes to actual occurrences at CNCC where, over the past year, there have been countless problems with many areas at the superjail.

I have been contacted by former and current employees at CNCC and have heard about numerous incidents on breaches of security such as garbage cans holding open doors to secure areas, leaving an entire section unsecured. I have heard about staff not being given meal breaks during their shifts. I have even witnessed the wrath of the CNCC management when they find out an employee has contacted my office to discuss activities at the superjail. I am appalled by these actions and it does not end there. My office has been flooded with calls over the past year from family members of inmates at CNCC that have been refused access to medical care. A diabetic inmate’s friend called my office because the inmate was unable to control his diabetes through diet alone and needed medical treatment. He had been requesting for weeks to see a doctor or nurse and had always been refused and never did see a doctor before his release when his health was in decline due to the inaction of CNCC.

I find this unacceptable and I cannot understand why Mr. Dunlop does not share my disgust at these actions undertaken by management at CNCC. I was outraged this past week when it came to my attention that a male inmate had been sodomized while in custody at the jail last weekend. I am also aware of an inmate that was beaten by another inmate while in a video-monitored common room and received severe injuries before a guard arrived. I would not classify these incidents as a “positive experience with the correctional center” as Garfield Dunlop described. My questions on whether there is not enough staff on duty to minimize incidents like the ones I have described remain unanswered by the Ministry of Public Safety and Security and by management at CNCC. I find this disgraceful. It is my hope that the government will soon realize that allowing private (U.S.-based) corporations to run our correctional centres while making a profit is not the way to safely incarcerate those that break our laws nor do I believe that our community’s safety and security is served any better by private jails. Finally, Mr. Dunlop’s arrogance at proclaiming the complete success of this experiment before it is even finished is, at best, ill-advised and, at worst, deceptive.


Dave Levac, MPP
Liberal Public Safety and Security Critic

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