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Letters to the Editor

Midland Free Press
Feed Back Section
Feb. 5, 2003

Comment: I have just returned from a 2 month stay in the new facility in Penetanguishene. I was making amends for past wrongs. I have also just come back from visiting my probation officer, who spoke to me of many concerns they have. I have felt compelled to write. I sat in Range 9A for the women, wich is merely a holding center for women to be transfered to and from court. They are to be relocated. I watched women do nothing all day but watch television. We did have an assemblence of school at the beginning, it consisted of playing on a computer with a program for basic learning. The computers disappeared one day. I attended two courses on substance abuse for women. I don't know what was suppose to be different about these course, but I received certificates after only attending minimum classes. It was a farce, and nothing was really learnt. It was time spent out of the unit for all who attended. I suffered severe stomach aches, and headaches and requested to see a nurse or doctor. I requested this daily for 3 weeks, and after that I finally saw a doctor. I am a proud Metis women, and on my ID card they listed my race as "other", until I spoke up and said it was wrong. It took them two weeks to alter my ID card. I requested often to see a Native Worker.

The only time this occurred was when I took the liberty to write to Eenahtic Healing Lodge, and they in turn sent my letter to Georgian Bay Friendship Center, who in turn sent Brian George to visit with me. I was trying to practise my spirituality but there is no sage in the facility. My partner had to bring it in, and then once it was there, the gurads took it upon themeselves to go into my personal property and distribute my medicines with other inmates. It appalls me that this facility is located in my hometown and run so incorrectly. I also witnessed women being released, with no rides home, and hitchiking back to Barrie. I don't know what we can do to correct this. Seems we were misled from the beginning. I have paid my debt to society, and now I wish to move on, but with the knowledge I have of this istitution that is in my backyard, I just want to sell my house, and move to somwhere safe.

Mickilus Belcourt
Paradise Pointe, Ontario


Letter of the Day

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Editorial - Re; Tuesday, Feb. 18, front page story in Free Press, Story riles MPP.

It was very interesting to read your front page story about the superjail and it’s ongoing issues; in particular Mr. Garfield Dunlop’s reaction.

He’s riled?

How does he think we feel?

His most intelligent response to potentially dangerous circumstances reported by local media was; “Hey! It’s a jail!”. His arrogance and knuckle headed attitude are not entirely his doing; he gets it honestly; look who he apprenticed under. Former Premier Mike Harris!

The Conservative government has a pathetic history of not listening to the people of Ontario, when they need to hear us about important issues. Or they will listen and turn around and do the complete opposite, which as a rule is usually the worst option.

Mr. Dunlop needs to understand that blaming Sharon Dion and others for so-called “negative press” doesn’t impress anyone.

Our intellect can only be bent so far, then it snaps back, usually hitting the “bender” in the forehead.

We should be thankful of people like Sharon and others who take the time and effort to point out discrepencies and misinformation as spouted by the government and their agencies.

In conclusion, I really don’t give a bear’s droppings that Mr. Dunlop is riled; he and the government have infuriating and riling us for a long time. A very long time.

Rene Lauzon

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